black eye

black eye "discoloration around the eye from injury" c.1600. Figurative sense of "injury to pride, rebuff" is by 1744; that of "bad reputation" is from 1880s. In reference to dark eyes, often as a mark of beauty, from 1660s. Black-eyed, of peas, attested from 1728. The black-eyed Susan as a flower (various species) so called from 1881, for its appearance. It also was the title of a poem by John Gay (1685-1732), which led to a popular British stage play of the same name in the mid-19c.
All in the Downs the fleet was moored,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard,
"Oh! where shall I my true love find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true,
If my sweet William sails among the crew?"

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • black eye — n if you have a black eye, you have a dark area around your eye because you have been hit ▪ Jack looked like someone had given him a black eye …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • black eye — black eyes N COUNT: usu sing If someone has a black eye, they have a dark coloured bruise around their eye. He punched her in the face at least once giving her a black eye …   English dictionary

  • black eye — n. 1. an eye with a very dark iris 2. a discoloration of the skin or flesh surrounding an eye, resulting from a sharp blow or contusion ☆ 3. Informal shame or dishonor, or a cause or source of this …   English World dictionary

  • black eye — noun count 1. ) a dark mark that forms on the skin around your eye as a result of being hit 2. ) AMERICAN MAINLY JOURNALISM something that affects the reputation of a person or organization in a negative way …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • black eye — black′ eye′ n. 1) discoloration of the skin around the eye, resulting from a blow, bruise, etc 2) a damaged reputation • Etymology: 1595–1605 …   From formal English to slang

  • black eye — ► NOUN ▪ an area of bruised skin around the eye resulting from a blow …   English terms dictionary

  • Black eye — This article is about the injury. For other uses, see Black eye (disambiguation). Black eye Classification and external resources Illustration of a black eye . ICD 10 S …   Wikipedia

  • black eye — {n.} 1. A dark area around one s eye due to a hard blow during a fight, such as boxing. * /Mike Tyson sported a black eye after the big fight./ 2. Discredit. * /Bob s illegal actions will give a black eye to the popular movement he started./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • black eye — {n.} 1. A dark area around one s eye due to a hard blow during a fight, such as boxing. * /Mike Tyson sported a black eye after the big fight./ 2. Discredit. * /Bob s illegal actions will give a black eye to the popular movement he started./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • black eye — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms black eye : singular black eye plural black eyes a dark mark that forms on the skin around your eye as a result of being hit …   English dictionary

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