pull the wool over someone's eyes

To pull the wool over someone's eyes is to fool them, especially by pretending to be friendly while actually cheating or stealing from them.

If your friend offered to help you out by holding your wallet while you're taking a quick swim in the lake, but you realized later he'd taken a ten dollar bill from it, you could say he pulled the wool over your eyes. Likewise, when citizens feel they've been mislead by the government, they might accuse it of pulling the wool over their eyes. This phrase most likely comes from the fashion of wearing wool wigs several centuries ago.

Definitions of pull the wool over someone's eyes
  1. verb
    conceal one's true motives from especially by elaborately feigning good intentions so as to gain an end
    synonyms: bamboozle, hoodwink, lead by the nose, play false, snow
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    type of:
    betray, deceive, lead astray
    cause someone to believe an untruth
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