If you’ve ever been caught off guard or surprised by something, you’ve been blindsided. Learn where this term comes from and how to use it in a sentence.
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The Meaning of Blindsided
When you are blindsided, it means that you are hit with something that you were not expecting and were not prepared for. It can be a physical blow or an emotional one. It can come out of nowhere and leave you feeling shaken and confused. If you were blindsided by a situation, it means that it took you by surprise.
The literal meaning of blindsided
The word “blindsided” is derived from the game of American football. In football, if a player is running with the ball and another player comes up from behind and hits him unexpectedly, we say that the first player was “blindsided.”
The verb form of blindside is most often used figuratively to mean “to hit (someone) unexpectedly from the side.” For example, if your boss tells you that you’re being laid off, you might say that you were blindsided by the news.
In recent years, the word has been used more broadly to describe any situation in which someone is taken by surprise.
The figurative meaning of blindsided
When something bad happens and we weren’t expecting it, we can say that we were blindsided. This expression comes from the world of sports, where it originally referred to a player being hit from the side by another player, outside their field of vision.
Nowadays, the figurative meaning of blindsided is more common than the literal one. If we’re blindsided by something, it takes us by surprise and knocks us off balance. We might be blindsided by bad news, or a change in plans. It can also be used to describe how we feel when we’re caught off guard by someone’s behavior – if they do something that shocks or hurts us, we might say that we were blindsided by them.
The Origin of Blindsided
Have you ever been completely surprised by something? So much so that it leaves you speechless? If so, then you’ve been blindsided. The term blindsided originated in American football. Let’s take a look at the history of this term.
The literal origin of blindsided
The term “blindsided” comes from the world of sports. In American football, if a player is running with the ball and an opposing player comes at him from the side or behind and tackles him, it is said that the player was blindsided. The same thing can happen in other sports, like hockey, when a player is unexpectedly hit from the side.
The meaning of blindsided has been extended to other areas beyond sports. If you are blindsided by something, it means that it hits you unexpectedly from the side or from behind.
The figurative origin of blindsided
The word blindsided has only been around since the early 1900s, but it has become such a part of our everyday vernacular that it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist. It’s often used to describe being caught off guard by something, especially something unpleasant.
The word first appeared in print in a 1911 issue of The New York Times, in an article about a boxing match. One of the fighters was quoted as saying that he had been “blindsided” by his opponent.
The word likely comes from the literal meaning of blindside, which is the side that you can’t see when you’re looking straight ahead. (Think of being blindsided in a football game.)
In the early 1900s, the word blindside was being used in poker to describe a situation where a player who had been dealt bad cards suddenly turned things around and won the hand. This usage is what led to the figurative meaning of being caught off guard.
These days, you’re just as likely to hear someone say they were blindsided by good news as you are to hear them say they were blindsided by bad news. But either way, it always comes as a surprise.
How to Use Blindsided
Being blindsided can mean different things to different people. It can be a negative experience, like being caught off guard by something unpleasant. Or it can be a positive experience, like being pleasantly surprised by something. In this article, we’ll talk about how to use blindsided in both positive and negative ways.
In a literal sense
If you are hit from the side without any warning, you can be said to have been “blindsided.” A literal blindside is a sudden, often violent attack.
In a figurative sense
When something comes out of nowhere and takes you completely by surprise, it’s said to have blindsided you. The word is often used in a negative way to describe being caught off guard by something unpleasant, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you’re ever pleasantly surprised, you can say you were blindsided by the good news.
Examples of Blindsided
When you’re blindsided, it means you’re hit with something unexpected. It usually comes out of nowhere and can leave you feeling disoriented and confused. In some cases, it can even be traumatic. Here are a few examples of times when someone might be blindsided.
In a literal sense
The word blindsided originally referred to being hit by a charge from an animal, most commonly a bull. Nowadays, it is more commonly used to describe the feeling of being shocked or surprised by something that you were not expecting.
For example, if you found out that your best friend had been secretly dating your ex behind your back, you might say that you felt blindsided by the news. If you found out that your employer was planning to lay off a large number of employees, including yourself, you might say that you were blindsided by the news.
In both cases, the surprise would likely be negative and would leave you feeling upset or betrayed.
In a figurative sense
When a person is blindsided, they are hit with something unexpectedly. This can be either bad news or good news, but it is always a shock.
The phrase can be used in a literal sense, when someone is physically hit by something they didn’t see coming. But it is more often used figuratively, to describe an emotional or psychological blow.
Someone who has been dumped by their partner might say they were “blindsided by the break-up.” Or if you found out your best friend was moving away, you might say you were “blindsided by the news.”