eye for a prune

Barnhart barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Tue May 11 13:06:17 UTC 2004

The suggestions below are very interesting.  However, now that I've seen
some context (garnered from Google) I might suggest another
interpretation, albeit less interesting.  The context was this:

>Bush, Ashcroft et al have taken yur eyes and given you a prune >under the
guise of a "War on Terror."

A prune is about the size and shape of an eye.  Might the comparison be
that our eyes are being replaced with prunes which cannot see?

barnhart at highlands.com

American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> writes:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
>Subject:      Re: eye for a prune
>>A patron has asked about the meaning of
>>the following saying:
>>"Don't let them take your eye for a prune"
>>The query comes from a librarian at a law firm and in her words "the
>>meaning of this phrase is important to the terms of the deal and we are
>>trying to document it or its source."
>Without claiming any great expertise at anything, I would opine that if
>question is "What is the generally accepted meaning of this sentence?"
>the answer is "There is no generally accepted meaning, since the saying is
>generally unknown."
>But if the question is "What is likely meant by this sentence?" then it
>would be helpful to know the context and something about the person who
>wrote/said it.
>One possibility, speculating in a vacuum: "Don't allow yourself to be
>penalized excessively for a minor tort/offense." ["Eye for an eye" is
>'just', "eye for a prune" is not.]
>As a likely irrelevancy, I note that the word "prune" has been used for
>"black eye" (like "mouse"), although it's been a long time since I heard
>and I can't find an example right now.
>-- Doug Wilson

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