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  1. #1
    vadhopper is offline Newbie
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    Question "a wink and a nod" vs "a wink and a nudge"

    Is there any difference between "a wink and a nod" and "a wink and a nudge?"

    My gut feeling is they mean the same thing and are used interchangably to mean quiet consent, agreement and encouragement in principal. They are often used in political context.

    It seems that "a wink and a nod" is more appropriate usage as it implies more the quiet agreement and consent and is more the political application that allows for plausible deniability. "A wink and a nudge" implies more encouragement to move forward and is often used to encourage one to move forward on an activity that is in the grey range - not quite proper, but not fully against the rules either. My guess is that the origin comes from "wink, wink, nudge, nudge," and the use of "a wink and a nudge" is more like a corruption of "a wink and a nod."

    Of course, these are just my educated guesses. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: "a wink and a nod" vs "a wink and a nudge"

    In BrE, we often say it the other way around- 'a nod and a wink', which suggests to me that the person nods to give the go-ahead and then gives a wink as an insider signal.

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: "a wink and a nod" vs "a wink and a nudge"

    Then there's Monty Python. "Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more, say no more."

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