Piercing the veil

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 16, 2005

In Reply to: Piercing the veil posted by Bob on October 16, 2005

: : : : Does anyone know the meaning of 'lift the veil' or 'lifting the veil'?
: : : When you lift the veil from something or someone, you reveal what is behind it. So figuratively, it means to uncover some private or secret thing.

: : A veil can be a concealing item of clothing (a bridal veil) or a concealing curtain (as used below) and has come to mean "something that hides or obscures like a veil" (Merriam-Webster online).

: : Mark 15:
: : 36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

: : 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

: : 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

: : 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

: : In my family, when we don't want to hear about or discuss a topic, we say, "Draw a veil."

: A somewhat related phrase is "piercing the veil," a legal term. The definition, courtesy of nolo.com:

: A judicial doctrine that allows a plaintiff to hold otherwise immune corporate officers and directors personally liable for damages caused by a corporation under their control. The veil is pierced when officers have acted intentionally and illegally, or when their actions exceeded the power given them by the company's articles of incorporation.

Or "piercing the veil" can just be used as a common figure of speech, meaning approximately the same thing as "lifting the veil." SS