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Ignorance is Bliss

discarded coca cola can on a boardwalk. ignorance is bliss

Ignorance is Bliss Definition

Ignorance is bliss. If you don’t know there is a problem, then there is no need to worry about it.

Meaning

Ignorance means to lack knowledge, information or understanding. Bliss is a state of complete happiness or joy. Hence our phrase means to be in a state of happiness do to a lack of knowledge of anything negative.

Ignorance is Bliss Examples

  • I don’t think Rob knows he has to pay for the liquor stocked in his hotel room. Oh well I guess ignorance is bliss! At least until he gets the bill…
  • My doctor asked me if I wanted him to explain the procedure in detail. I told him “No thanks doc, as far as I’m concerned, ignorance is bliss.”

Quotes

Is there anything science should not try to explain? Science is knowledge and knowledge is power – power to do good or evil. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Paul Davies

Where ignorance is bliss it’s foolish to borrow your neighbor’s newspaper.

Kin Hubbard

Ignorance is Bliss Origin

To each his suff’rings: all are men, Condemn’d alike to groan, The tender for another’s pain; Th’ unfeeling for his own. Yet ah! why should they know their fate? Since sorrow never comes too late, And happiness too swiftly flies. Thought would destroy their paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.

Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton Colllege, Thomas Gray, 1747

Our phrase today appears to have originated from the poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College by Thomas Gray of Cornhill, London.

Thomas Gray was an 18th-century poet, scholar, and professor at Pembroke College of Cambridge.

The Eton college referenced in the poem is a school attended by Gray. The school was established in 1440 nearly six hundred years ago and is still open today. It is considered one of the most prestigious schools in the world! Many famous historical figures and modern celebrities have attended the college including Ian Fleming, George Orwell, Hugh Laurie, Bear Grylls, Robert Boyle, and Thomas Arne.