phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

A nod's as good as a wink

Posted by Pamela on May 23, 2007

In Reply to: A nod's as good as a wink posted by Smokey Stover on May 22, 2007

: : : I found this phrase in the archives, but do not clearly understand the meaning and the use. Is it used ironically, that is "no sense to waste so many words - a nod's as good as a wink to explain what you wished to convey"? Any other?

: :
: : and if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video...
: :

: From The Free Dictionary:

: A nod's as good as a wink. (British & Australian, humorous)
: something that you say when you have understood what was meant by something although it was not expressed in a direct way. "I know when I'm not wanted, so don't try to say anything more - a nod's as good as a wink."

: Don't use this on Americans. Even if they understand it, they will regard it as an incomprehensible Briticism. However, you'll see it every now and then in British writing.
: SS

In Australia if someone gave you a hint of some sort and you said "a nod's as good as a wink" then it simply means "I can take a hint". There is no irony involved. I did notice that there is a longer phrase that's sometimes used - "a nod's as good as a wink to a blind man" (or blind horse), which imples that both the nod and the wink are useless in communicating anything. A bit of a puzzle there ... Pamela