phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Bright eyed and bushy tailed

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 08, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Bright eyed and bushy tailed posted by ESC on October 08, 2005

: : : The trivia question for today is where did the saying "Bright eyed and bushy tailed" come from, and when?

: : I think that it's an analogy to squirrels - very alert and perky.

: I agree that it refers to a squirrel. This source says:

: "Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Bright-eyed is obvious and the bushy-tailed here is a reference to the tail of a cat, which fluffs up when the animal becomes excited. The expression means cheerful and lively, and it dates back to the nineteenth century." (From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson, Facts on File, New York, 1997.)

Gosh, I thought it was first used to describe Sally Field, in The Flying Nun (1967- ).