1. in the context of deceit.
(a) an excuse, a pretence; a person used to fool onlookers, e.g. to disguise a relationship.
|New Canting Dict. n.p.: A blind a Feint, a Pretence, a Shift, an Artifice, to make a Person believe the contrary of what is intended.|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict.|
|His Account 22 Nov. 10/1: The Studder’s, a Gang of Thieves, travelling most of the Kingdom with their China-ware, which was a Blind to conceal their Rogueries.|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Dict. Sl. and Cant.|
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 12: Blind—a feint or excuse.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Aug. 3/2: We hare too much reason to fear that the avocation [of hawking] is adopted more for a ‘blind’ than any thing else, by these skulking, idle fellows.|
|,||Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.|
|Sharping London 34: blind, something done to deceive.|
|Police! 226: The chief actors, with their immediate supporters, had travelled as a ‘blind’ on omnibuses, with hampers of pigeons and men displaying guns, as though they were going to a pigeon-shooting match.|
|Bird o’ Freedom 1 Jan. 3/2: Who was the nincompoop with her in the morning? A mere blind. [...] This was a wrong ’un [...] and she daren’t own she was going to meet him. So she gave the other ‘smudge’ a dollar to fetch her.|
|My Brilliant Career 125: It is nice to have an old auntie, as a blind, is it not?|
|Confessions of a Detective 145: You heard your party say ‘Twenty-third Street ferry?’ [...] That was a blind.|
|Magnet 3 Sept. 26: That tale that I spread about us calling in at Bordeaux was only a blind.|
|Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I i: It was a blind, of course. He worked alone, absolutely alone.|
|Ulysses 320: I know where he’s gone, says Lenehan, cracking his fingers. – Who? says I. – Bloom, he says, the courthouse is a blind. He had a few bob on Throwaway and he’s gone to gather in the shekels.|
|Gangster Girl 7: The names on the door were blinds.|
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|USA Confidential 145: The Chinese tong set-up is used by the Mafia to transmit narcotics and other contraband; such things as laundry bales, cases of Chinese vegetables and packages of tea are blinds.|
|I Like ’Em Tough (1958) 56: She’d come into the Dewdrop as a blind.‘Now Die In It’ in|
|Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 93: Time to pack it in [...] when even a mindless vessel like Tessy Hagan has you taped well enough to pull a blind like that!|
|Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 19: Blind Subterfuge.|
(b) (US/UK Und.) one who distracts from the activities of a criminal, typically a pickpocket’s assistant.
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 12: Blind [...] One who stands before another while he robs a third person.|
|N.-Y. After Dark 13: Experts in picking pockets, as ‘stalls’ and ‘blinds’.|
|USA Confidential 37: The brats make swell blinds.|
|Sir, You Bastard 117: [He] hoped the man was a blind.|
(c) (Und., mainly US) a supposedly legitimate business which in fact masks a criminal one; thus blind man.
|[||Paul Pry 29 Jan. 1/2: it is no more than a common ‘dancing shop,’ [...] the cognomen of ‘Wine and Supper Rooms’ being a blind].|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 17 Jan. 1/1: An alleged watchmaker of Wellington-st. has no time for anything but stolen gold [...] his jeweller’s shop is a blind of the most barefaced variety.|
|Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 50: The men ostensibly were fishermen, and their boat was stated to be a fishing-boat; and to lend color to the claim, the men did go off between times on fishing expeditions, and the latter little trick had been their best ‘blind’ and ‘throw off’.|
|AS IV:5 338: Blind—A legitimate business used to conceal an illegitimate one.‘Vocab. of Bums’ in|
|Popular Detective Sept. [Internet] Louie once ran a cigar store in Shamokin but it was only a blind to take horse bets.‘When a Body Meets a Body’ in|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 26: blind man One who operates a legitimate business as a screen for criminal activity.|
|DAUL 29/1: Blind, n. [...] 2. Any deceptive exterior concealing an illegal establishment or criminal activity.et al.|
|Ghost Squad 152: I imagine Bernstein thought that it [i.e. a smart shop] gave an aura of respectability to his nefarious enterprises; for all this was a blind.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 791: blind – A legitimate business enterprise used as a cover under which to operate a criminal enterprise.|
|(con. c.1920) East End Und. 220: I think his shop may have been a ‘blind’ for another business.in Samuel|
2. night-time; thus do a blind, to do a ‘moonlight flit’.
|song in Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant I 136/1: Then it’s down with the bedstead, and let us away, / Pack up all we can in the blind, / And long ere the morning, / Without any warning, / We’ll leave back-rent and landlord behind.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
3. (US prison) an area of the prison hidden from the authorities’ sight.
|Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Blind: Area where correctional officers cannot see, as in ‘Let’s go to the blind.’.|
(Aus.) at risk, on chance, without any prior information.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Nov. 14/2: ‘C.X.G.’ [...] is going ‘on the blind,’ or does not know what he is talking about, when he says that it was a rare thing to see a dingo on Strzlecki Creek, a few years back, when the S.A. Government was paying for scalps.|
|All Abaht It (London) (1919) Feb. 62: What about getting it – ‘one on the blind’? [AND].|
|AND].Canine King 30: The dog is cast off ‘on the blind’ to use the expression by which a sheep-man admits his own impotence [|
|Cattle King 63: He had taken up country on the ‘blind’, without ever having seen it.|
|D. McLean Roaring Days 62: When you’re on opal country [...] you have to sink ‘on the blind’.|