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Re: Sheep's eye and licorice tooth

Posted by Bob on December 31, 2000

In Reply to: Re: Sheep's eye and licorice tooth posted by Sauerkraut on December 31, 2000

: : : : : : There is a song in the musical "Guys and Dolls" called MORE I CANNOT WISH YOU sung by the character Uncle Arvide who uses this phrase. Origin and meaning, please.

: : : : : This is a guess. Those terms sound like slang terms for dice.

: : : : I surely hope not. Uncle Arvide is a Salvation Army Colonel, and is talking about his wishes for Sarah to find her true love - I know she was involved with Sky Masterson, but don't know that Uncle Arvide approved. Thanks for the reply though - let's see where this goes. Can our British friends help any?

: : : I've read the lyrics since I posted. It does sound like lovey dovey terms. Sheep's eyes sounds familiar. But licorice teeth?? I couldn't find either of the terms in either my British slang books or the others.

: : Standing there,
: : Gazing at you,
: : Full of the bloom of youth.
: : Standing there,
: : Gazing at you,
: : With the sheep's eye and the licorice tooth.

: : Roget has both terms as synonyms for desire:
: : Roget's Thesaurus: Entry 865 (Desire)
: : http://www.chem.leeds.ac.uk/roget/entries/865.html

: : Desire. -- N. desire, wish, fancy, fantasy; want, need,
: : exigency.

: : mind, inclination, leaning, bent, animus, partiality, penchant,
: : predilection; propensity &c. 820; willingness &c. 602; liking, love, fondness, relish.

: : thirstiness; drouth,
: : mouthwatering; itch, itching; prurience, cacoethes[Lat], cupidity, lust,
: : concupiscence.

: : edge of appetite, edge of hunger; torment of Tantalus; sweet tooth,
: : lickerish tooth[obs]; itching palm; longing eye, wistful eye, sheep's eye.

: :
: : Merriam Webster on sheeps eye:
: : Main Entry: sheep's eye
: : Function: noun
: : Date: circa 1529
: : : a shy longing usually amorous glance -- usually used in plural
: : http://www.m-w.com/home.htm

: : Websters Unabridged on Sheep's Eye:
: : Sheep's-eye
: : Sheep's"-eye` (?), n. A modest, diffident look; a loving glance; -- commonly in the plural.
: : "I saw her just now give him the languishing eye, as they call it; . . . of old called the sheep's-eye."--
: : Wycherley

: : http://www.bibliomania.com/2/3/257/frameset.html

: thanks, all, for the replies. The amorous explanations seem to fill the bill as it were.

I found an OED reference to "the holy man had a licorish tooth" from Southey in 1828. What's interesting, as you pursue it, is that lickerish and licorish, which mean a fondness for food (and by extension, other sensual delights) is related to liquorish, an old word meaning a fondness for liquor, which is also related to licorice, also spelled a dozen or more ways, including liquorice, a sweet derived from a liquor made from a plant. All of the above involve a fondness for sweet(ness),