Rob Someone Blind

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Also: Steal someone blind

Meaning of Idiom 'Rob Someone Blind'

1. To steal freely from someone without immediate detection. 1

2. To greatly overcharge someone for a service or item; to cheat someone in a transaction. 1

3. To thoroughly and very deceitfully cheat someone financially, especially as by some kind of deception or extortion. 2,3

Usage Examples

"Robert doesn't have much of a business sense and couldn't figure out why his hardware store wasn't doing well. It turned out his accountant had been robbing him blind."

"That mechanic tried to rob me blind. He told me I needed a whole new engine! I found out later that all I needed was a tune-up."

"Ms. Hill was heartbroken when she found out her trusted employees had been stealing her blind."

Origin

Used since the mid-1900's.

The allusion here is unclear. Possibly, it relates to robbing a blind beggar by emptying his collection cup. It may also allude to dishonestly taking everything from someone, including their sight. 2

Sources
1. Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill's American Idioms Dictionary. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
3. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.

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