Peaky Blinders has become an iconic series all over the world. The British historical crime drama is set in post-WWI Birmingham and sometimes uses words viewers might not be familiar with. Even the title can be a little confusing. The meaning behind the name Peaky Blinders is an interesting one. Perhaps it’s even part of the reason the show became so popular.
The Peaky Blinders us their caps as weapons
By now, fans of the series are familiar with the Peaky Blinders’ three-piece suits and newsboy caps. The hats worn by the Birmingham gang give the series its iconic name. In the series, Thomas Shelby and his Birmingham gang sew razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps.
These hats can then be used as a weapon to blind unsuspecting enemies. Tommy does just that in one fight scene early in the series. Finn Shelby also blinds one of the Changretta men, who he believes to have killed Arthur.
The ‘Peaky Blinders’ meaning behind the name
The Peaky Blinders were a real crime gang that lived in Birmingham in the 1890s. However, the Birmingham Mail points out that the real gangsters likely didn’t keep razors in their caps.
“They [razor blades] were only beginning to come in from the 1890s and were a luxury item, much too expensive for the Peaky Blinders to have used,” historian Carl Chinn told the outlet. “And any hard man would tell you it would be very difficult to get direction and power with a razor blade sewn into the soft part of a cap.”
The real Peaky Blinders name could have come from a much less violent meaning. Popsugar points out that the word “peaky” could have originated from slang used to describe “a popular style of flat cap that came to a small peak atop the head.” The term “blinder” is slang for an exceptionally stylish man.
Why is the BBC drama so popular?
Peaky Blinders has gained recognition around the world. Even celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and David Bowie sing the show’s praises. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how Peaky Blinders became so popular. Perhaps it is the exaggeration of real historical figures that captivated viewers.
Part of creator Steven Knight’s inspiration came from stories told to him by his uncle. “The horses are bigger and blacker; the men are stronger and more rugged; the women are more glamorous; the lipstick’s brighter,” Helen McCrory, who played Polly Gray, told The New York Times. “It’s almost like a graphic novel.”
Aside from the alluring setting, storyline, and style, Peaky Blinders also features a phenomenal cast. Cillian Murphy nails the role of anti-hero, a trope that is becoming increasingly popular. “The musical score is fantastic, the plot stellar, all around it is one of my favorite shows,” wrote a fan on Reddit. “It’s sorta like Narcos or Breaking Bad where you find yourself cheering on the bad guys.”
Viewers have found a lot to love about the show, and are highly anticipating the release of the final season.
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