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

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 4 23:20:37 UTC 2009

 Mark Mandel said:
> And as for currency, in the '50s and '60s my dad used to tell us to "keep
> our eyes peeled".
> m a m

Jonathan Lighter said:
> I still say it.
> JL

I also heard the phrase "keep your eyes peeled" in the 1960s. I had
never seen or heard "keep your eyes skinned" until I started my

That phrase might have had the opposite meaning it seems to me. If I
had found the following sentences in the Google Books archive I would
not have been skeptical: "Go to sleep now. Keep your eyes skinned" or
"Don't look. Skin your eyes." OED has skinned, adj. 3. Coated with a
layer of something; covered or glazed over. Also fig. OED also has
skin, v.  II. To cover with skin.

Why not skin ones eyes with skin?


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

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