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Bat an eylid

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 27, 2010 at 04:54

In Reply to: Bat an eylid posted by James Briggs on January 26, 2010 at 14:50:

: : 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.