Are you looking for a way to tell someone you understand what they’re referring to in their statement? You could use “a wink is as good as a nod.” This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.
The expression “a nod is as good as a wink” suggests that a person ready to undertake or understand something only requires subtle signaling for confirmation.
“Between friends, a nod is as good as a wink when you want to pass a subtle statement of recognition or awareness of something.”
“A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat. If you’re not initiated, you won’t understand the reference.”
“A nod is as good as a wink to a bling horse that can’t see. If you don’t know what the person is referring to, then you’re on the outside of the joke.”
“I told her we would go to our friend’s house on the weekend to have a few drinks. She replied with a nod is as good as a wink to let me know she understood what I was insinuating.”
“Don’t you know a nod is as good as a wink when you want to let another person know you understand what they’re referencing?”
“A nod is as good as a wink to let someone know you understand their reference or the meaning behind their joke.”
“If you have a smart head on your shoulders, you understand a nod is as good as a wink to get someone’s attention and understanding of your innuendo.”
The proverbial expression “a wink is as good as a nod” originates from 16th-century England. It’s a shorter variation of the longer version “a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.”
The first use of the saying in print comes from “The False Guardians Outwitted,” a ballad opera written by William Goodall and performed in 1740, where it reads as follows.
“And therefore, I must say this for myself, that, if they are a small matter too bashful, I am not extremely dull of apprehension; and a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.”
The phrase is more commonly associated with its more modern use in the comedy film “Monty Pythons Flying Circus,” in a sketch by Eric Idle called “Nudge Nudge,” where it appears as the following variation, “a nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat.”
Phrases Similar to A Wink is as Good as a Nod
- Subtle signal.
- Under the radar.
Phrases Opposite to A Wink is as Good as a Nod
What is the Correct Saying?
- A nod is as good as a wink.
- A wink is as good as a nod.
- A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat.
- A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.
Ways People May Say A Wink is as Good as a Nod Incorrectly
The phrase “a wink is as good as a nod” is interchangeable with the version “a nod is as good as a wink.” They both have the same meaning. Some people may incorporate the saying with a concluding statement, such as “a nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat” or a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.”
Acceptable Ways to Phrase A Wink is as Good as a Nod
You can use the expression “a wink is as good as a nod” to call someone out for insinuating something hidden or under the radar of other people’s attention. It refers to the act of nodding or winking to let someone know they understand what you’re talking about in a conversation.
It’s a somewhat outdated phrase, so there’s not much use for it in modern language. It’s more common for the saying to appear in the British language than in the Americas. The phrase suits social use, and there’s not much use for it in professional language.