phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"draw a blank"

Posted by R. Berg on April 23, 2001

In Reply to: Origin of "draw a blank" posted by Nelson on April 23, 2001

: Does anyone know of any theoris on the origin of the phrase "to draw a blank"?

Among the Oxford English Dictionary's definitions of "blank" as a noun is "A lottery ticket which does not gain a prize." The OED gives quotations beginning in the year 1567 to illustrate that sense, and the last one (year 1824) is from Washington Irving: "When one has drawn a blank."

See also - the meaning and origin of Draw a blank.