You have probably heard the phrase, ‘bat an eye,’ but you may not know what it means. Usually, when people say this, they mean that someone did not ‘bat an eye’ which means to show no interest, surprise, or reaction. To actually ‘bat an eye’ means to blink.
However, this idiom is a bit confusing because ‘bat an eyelash’ has a very different meaning. To learn more, read this guide. It contains definitions, meanings, examples of both, and helpful tips for successfully utilizing these phrases and others to connect with your audience.
The most popular usage of this phrase is to precede it with ‘did not.’ To ‘bat an eye’ at something would be to give it a slight reaction. However, to say someone ‘didn’t bat an eye' means that they showed no reacti0n.
In the context of this figure of speech, the definition of ‘bat’ is to flutter or blink. ‘Bat’ is a term that originated in the 15th century when falconry was common. It was used to describe the flapping of the falcon's wings.
Here are a few examples:
The term has been around for centuries. Hunters who used falcons started the statement during the 16th century. They would use the statement to tell someone to blink.
Over time, the saying evolved, and today people most frequently use the idiom to insinuate that an individual showed no reaction when bad news was delivered to them. This is not uncommon. Figures of speech often change depending on what is happening in the world.
‘Bat an eyelash’ is another popular saying. It means to flirt with someone. Here are a few examples:
Now that you know the meaning of ‘bat an eyelash,’ read through these to see the difference.
Idioms like ‘rooting for you,’ ‘bat an eyelash,’ ‘shoot your shot,’ and ‘bearer of bad news’ can help you connect with your audience. However, you must use figures of speech appropriate for your content.
For example, if you are writing like Earnest Hemingway, you may want to use a figure of speech he used or would have used. However, using it in the wrong context will diminish the value of your work.
Here are a few other tips for using idioms:
Remember, ‘bat an eye’ and ‘bat an eyelid’ have different meanings. To ‘bat an eye’ means to blink, while ‘batting your eyelashes’ is a term for flirting.
You could use either to imply that someone didn’t care, but saying someone didn’t ‘bat an eyelash’ at bad news sounds silly. Knowing how to properly use a figure of speech before you use it is essential. Otherwise, you risk losing the respect of your audience or even offending them.
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