This definition states (with my added emphasis),

blind with science (British & Australian)
If you blind someone with science, you confuse them by using technical language that they are not likely to understand.

I think he decided to blind us with science because he didn't want us asking any difficult questions.


This expression is so common in Britain, where I live, I was surprised it is defined as being limited to certain areas.

Is this phrase really so unfamiliar to, say, U. S. English speakers?

  • 6
    "She Blinded Me With Science" is the first thing I thought of upon reading this question. It's not a phrase I use in everyday speech (Californian English speaker)
    – herisson
    Oct 25, 2015 at 11:00
  • 3
    I think this is true. I know the expression only from the Thomas Dolby song. Oct 25, 2015 at 11:01
  • 1
    Interesting. I had never heard of the song. I looked it up and the singer is British! Oct 25, 2015 at 11:07
  • Yes. Wikipedia says it was relatively more popular in the US than in the UK, for some reason. It seems quite likely that Dolby knew of the UK idiom.
    – herisson
    Oct 25, 2015 at 11:16
  • 3
    Never heard of the song, "She blinded me with science"?! Now you'll be telling me that you've never heard of the Buggles, "Video killed the radio star" or Manfred Mann's "Blinded by the light" I guess, I must be showing my age. :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 25, 2015 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


The expression appears to be mainly a British one; according to Ngram the only evidence of its usage is in BrE. Its origin predates the 1982 song which probably made the expression more popular. Here is an earlier example from 1947:

From: Failure of the Left, A Plea for a New Liberalism (1947)

  • ... he is dreaming in terms of classes and class exploitation : his references to the mundane world are merely there to blind with science the proselyte who will not take his religion without evidence of a sort. When one contemplates the actual ...

According to The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English the expression "blind with science" first appeared in 1937 in Australia and in 1943 in UK.


While I have only ever heard it used in the above mentioned song I have been familiar with the phrase my whole life. A similar phrase that I have heard used is to "baffle'em with bullshit" which is an abbreviated version of

“If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” ― W.C. Fields


Cary Grant as Ernie Mott quotes the phrase in 1944' "None but the Lonely Heart", the film based upon the 1943 novel of the same name.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.