"Keep your eye peeled" slight antedating (1848) "keep your eyes skinned" (1831)

Mark Mandel Mark.A.Mandel at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 4 22:27:24 UTC 2009

And as for currency, in the '50s and '60s my dad used to tell us to "keep
our eyes peeled".

m a m

On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 5:56 AM, Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>wrote:

> While driving with family members during the Thanksgiving holiday I
> was told to keep my eyes peeled for a particular road sign. Back in
> 2000 in the ADS list archives Larry Horn wondered about the phrase:
> "Can that be right?  Do people really keep their eyes peeled? pealed?
> And why?  I can't find either sense in my AHD!"
> Michael Quinion at World Wide Words discusses the phrase and says,
> "The figurative sense of keeping alert, by removing any covering of
> the eye that might impede vision, seems to have appeared in the US
> about 1850."
> http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-kee1.htm
> ...

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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