In Reply to: Bat an eylid posted by Smokey Stover on January 27, 2010 at 04:54:
: : : Where did the phrase 'didn't bat an eylid' come from?
: : The word derives from the now obsolete "bate", in turn from the Old French "batre" meaning "to beat the wings: to flutter".
: You can also use the form "bat an eye" (as in "without batting an eye") without being called out for it, although it's only the eyelid that is batted. Well, really an eyelash. The eyelid moves more like a shutter than a flutter. It's a small and debatable point, but one reason women adorn their eyelashes is so they can more effectively flutter them. At least I hope so.