Blind as a bat

Penyafort

Senior Member
Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
In English, an idiom used for comparison to indicate blindness is blind as a bat.

In Spanish, the same idiom would be 'blind as a mole': ciego como un topo. (Even when the word for bat in Spanish is 'blind mouse': mur + ciégalo)

Are there any similar idioms in your language? Are bats or moles used for that, or rather something completely different?
 
  • jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Cego como uma toupeira, blind as a mole, or cego como uma porta, blind as a door, in Portuguese.
     

    Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    Are there any similar idioms in your language? Are bats or moles used for that, or rather something completely different?

    In Geman we use bats and moles (and owls) for that purpose. ;)

    Blind wie ...
    ... ein Maulwurf
    (a mole)
    ... eine Fledermaus (a bat)
    ... eine Eule bei Tag (an owl during the day)
     
    In Greek it's «τυφλοπόντικας» [ti.flɔˈpɔn.di.kas] (masc.) --> mole.
    «Τυφλός σαν τυφλοπόντικας» [tiˈflɔs san ti.flɔˈpɔn.di.kas] --> blind as a mole.

    -MoGr nominal «τυφλός, -λή, -λό» [tiˈflɔs] (masc.), [tiˈfli] (fem.), [tiˈflɔ] (neut.) --> blind, blocked, clogged < Classical adj. «τυφλός, -λή, -λόν» tŭpʰlós (masc.), tŭpʰlḗ (fem.), tŭpʰlón (neut.) --> blind, dark, blocked, clogged, dim, obscure (PIE *dʰeubʰ- foggy, cf Proto-Germanic *dumbaz > Ger. dumm, Eng. dumb, Dt dom).

    -MoGr masc. noun «τυφλοπόντικας» [ti.flɔˈpɔn.di.kas], a late Byz. Gr. compound, formed by joining the adj. «τυφλός» + masc. augmentative «πόντικας» [ˈpɔn.di.kas], of Koine noun «ποντικός» pŏntikós --> mouse, which replaced the "difficult" Classical word for it, «μῦς» mûs. «Ποντικός» comes from «ποντικός μῦς» pŏntikós mûs --> pontic mouse, which either desribed a kind of weasel, native to the Pontic reɡion in Anatolia (northern Black Sea shore), or the rodents that infested ships (from «πόντος» póntŏs = sea).
     

    nimak

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    Macedonian:

    слеп како крт (slep kako krt) ['slɛp kakɔ 'kr̩t] = lit. "blind as (a) mole"
    слеп како лилјак (slep kako liljak) ['slɛp kakɔ 'liljak] = lit. "blind as (a) bat"
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    слеп како крт (slep kako krt) ['slɛp kakɔ 'kr̩t] = lit. "blind as (a) mole"
    Basically same in Russian, слеп/слепой как крот (slép/slepóy kák krót) ['slʲɛp / slʲɪ'poɪ̯ 'kak 'kɾɔt] - blind as a mole.
    I have to note that bats are comparatively rare in Central Russia (I've never seen one outside a zoo in all my life), and probably the name (literally "flying mice" in Russian) is too long and inconvenient as well.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Cymraeg/Welsh

    Dall bost
    = Blind as a post

    (No creatures feature in our idioms, as far as I know).

    As an aside, a blind neighbour had the nickname (because Welsh people give nicknames to everybody) 'Siôn Dywyll' That is, 'Dark (i.e. 'not light') John'
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    As an aside, a blind neighbour had the nickname (because Welsh people give nicknames to everybody) 'Siôn Dywyll' That is, 'Dark (i.e. 'not light') John'
    That instantly brings to my mind the Grand Prince of Moscow, Vasily II the Blind (literally, "Vasiliy the Dark" - "Василий Тёмный"). :)
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    On a sidenote: Russian does have the word нетопырь (netopýr'/nétopyr', [nʲɪtɐ'pɨɾʲ]/['nʲɛtəpəɾʲ]), with one of its meanings being the generic "a bat", but it's fairly uncommon and always was, judging on the huge distortions in the dialects (letopyr', natopyr', nastopyr' etc.).
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Very interesting comments here!

    I certainly didn't expect the comparison to the mole being so common, I'm surprised.

    @Circunflejo I personally think that the one with the topo is much more common in Spanish. Actually, I don't remember hearing como un murciélago in Spanish, to be honest. :(
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Actually, I don't remember hearing como un murciélago in Spanish, to be honest. :(
    Oh, that exists?
    One example of use: a quote from page 275 of the Novel El desván, by Susana Prieto and Lea Vélez (published in 2003):
    Su tío estaba ciego como un murciélago, pero al igual que el repugnante animal, era capaz de detectar hasta la más mínima vibración.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Actually, I don't remember hearing como un murciélago in Spanish, to be honest
    Google Books solo da 17 resultados en castellano (quizá 18, pero el documento no tiene vista previa). Varios de ellos corresponden a traducciones literales del inglés, en glosarios, o en documentos biomédicos o farmacéuticos.
     

    morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Slovak: slepý jak patrón or slepý ako patrón (lit. blind as a blank (cartridge)).

    slepý jak/ako netopier (lit. blind as a bat) is not as common where I'm from.
     
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