phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Big Brother is watching

Posted by Bruce Kahl on April 30, 2005

In Reply to: Big Brother is watching posted by Bex on April 30, 2005

: What is the meaning of 'Big Brother is watching'?

From the novel by George Orwell entitled "1984".

The phrase means that privacy does not exist, that you are being watched in one way or another.

Big Brother is the government with the ever present telescreens:

"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct - in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and except in darkness, every movement scrutinised."