this week’s word is hoodwinked (pronunciation here) which most will know as a evocative way of saying tricked or deceived. But its word origins are a little more unusual.
The Masonic Dictonary explains that hood comes from Old German and meant a head covering like a hat or helmet. You then add on wink, from the same language origins, meaning to close the eyes (so the next time a small child describes their blink as a wink, they’re actually correct). The combination of hood and wink described a headdress which covered the head and closed the eyes, and it came from the ancient sport of falconry where the trained bird of prey wears a hoodwink until the falconer wants to let it fly after prey.
It’s easy to see how the idea of not seeing truthfully could turn into the idea of deliberately stopping the truth being seen.
But why the Masonic connection?
Those being initiated into the order wear a hoodwink. It heightens their senses and is used as a representation of mystical darkness. So now you know.
Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling,
p.s. if you ever get a chance to visit a falconer, grab it. I’ve been lucky enough to see these amazing birds, and their handlers, at Alliwee (Co. Clare), and at the Bird Control Unit at Baldonnell airport (Co. Dublin) where they are used to keep down local bird life around the runways, thus limiting bird-strike issues.