Posted by Sauerkraut on January 02, 2001
In Reply to: Re: Sheep's eye and licorice tooth posted by Sauerkraut on January 02, 2001
: : In the original Frank Loesser score, the expression is "sheep's eye and the LICKERISH tooth." Loesser eplained how he arrived at it in a letter that's printed in his daughter's fine biography of him, A MOST REMARKABLE FELLA (page 109). The short of it is that he wanted a companion word that meant "covetous", fearing "sheep's eye" did not completely convey the exact thoughts of the guy who would be gazing at her. He went to Roget's and found that "lecherous" was a sort of synonym for covetous, but didn't quite like the way it sounded, so he consulted the Oxford English Dictionary and found that two archaic spellings of "lecherous" were "licorice" and "lickerish." He chose the latter. Voila!
Many thanks, Scott - I've been trying to tease out the meaning for many years. My ear always heard that application, but I couldn't come up with the "lickerish" thing. Thanks again - I can sleep easier.