Eye for a Prune (??)

James Knight jlk at 3GECKOS.NET
Tue May 11 03:43:59 UTC 2004

I'll go out on a limb here. Searching "eye for a prune" in ECCO calls up a
page from 'The farmer's magazine,...' whereupon the reader is advised:

"Prune the bearing shoots of Vines to three eyes above the fruit, observing
to prune just above the eye."

[-- Title The farmer's magazine, and useful family companion. Consisting of
practical essays, ... on the different branches of husbandry, ... A
miscellaneous collection of valuable family receipts, ... Useful hints and
curious observations ... By Agricola Sylvan, gentleman. Imprint [London,
England] : Printed for R. Snagg, no. 129, Fleet-Street, London; and R.
Cruttwell, in Bath; and sold by every bookseller, stationer, and
news-carrier, in the kingdom, MDCCLXXVI. [1776-1780].]


"When you prune, shorten the branches of the last year's growth to three or
four eyes; ... Prune just above an eye, ..."

[-- Title The practical gardener, and gentleman's directory, for every
month in the year. ... An entire new work. Containing the latest and most
approved methods of cultivating ... the kitchen, ... and physic garden; ...
With a copper-plate, exhibiting ... the several aspects for planting a
fruit-garden. By James Garton. Author Garton, James Imprint Dublin :
printed for H. Saunders, D. Chamberlaine, J. Potts, W. Sleater, and J.
Williams, 1770.]

There are similar passages in this and one or two other publications. What
might taking an Eye for a Prune mean in this context?

-jk (I do hope this helps -- I hate wasting ADS-L bandwidth)

At 06:17 PM 5/10/04, Mssr. Bapopik wrote:
>... In Reply to: HELP posted by Cassandra on May 06, 2004 at 18:12:26: :
>Has anyone
>ever heard of this phrase: Don't let them take your eye for a prune. ...
>phrases.shu.ac.uk/bulletin_board/31/messages/442.html - 4k - May 9, 2004 -
>Cached - Similar pages
>    I certainly would like to help out the Library of Congress and
> lawyers, but I don't want to mislead anyone (or have the questioner
> mislead us into false slang).
>    Neither the beginning ("Don't let them take your eye") nor the end
> ("for a prune") checks out.  Perhaps it's a better way of saying "Don't
> sell your soul (your eye) for shit (a prune)."  But it's not established
> anywhere, AFAIK.

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