Posted by Bob on July 20, 2007
In Reply to: Peggy Martin posted by Smokey Stover on July 19, 2007
: : "It's all my eye and Peggy Martin"... Who was Peggy Martin? Also ref. toi,toi,toi... In my operatic experience, it is only toi toi.
: I thought this was in the Archive, but it is a bit difficult to retrieve, so I retrieved it for you. The answer was given by ESC as follows:
: "ALL MY EYE AND BETTY MARTIN! - inf. (informal) baloney! Various derivations proposed. The most likely would seem to be 'Mihi beata mater' which appears to be Latin for something like 'Grant to me, blessed Mother'). According to one legend, the imperfectly understood phrase was reported back to Britain by a sailor who had been abroad and to him it sounded like 'all my eye and Betty Martin.' The British often shorten the expression to 'all my eye!' .American 'my eye!' Other American synonyms are 'hogwash' and 'eyewash.'" From "British English A to Zed" by Norman W. Schur (HarperCollins, New York, 1987).
: And can you elaborate on toi, toi, toi? I never heard it. Nor toi, toi, for that matter.
Googling, one finds most references to "toi toi toi." It's the traditional opera equivalent to "break a leg" for actors. Don
t say good luck to either; it's bad luck to do so. "Toi toi toi" has more than one plausible origin, but it may well be a corruption of "teufel" (German, devil) and repeated to sound like spitting.