Posted by ESC on June 13, 2001
In Reply to: "FINGER IN THE EYE" posted by R. Berg on June 13, 2001
: : One comment on U.S.President Bush's trip to Europe using "The first six months of the Bush presidency seemed almost calculated to POKE ITS PROVERBIAL FINGER IN EUROPE'S EYE on issue ater issue...." Would please tell me what's the meaning of the phrase in capital?
: I'm guessing that the author meant simply that Bush's conduct seriously offended Europeans or European governments. He or she was misusing the word "proverbial" unless there is a proverb--not a cliché, an idiom, or a simile, but a proverb--about fingers in eyes.
"Poke in the eye" means deliberately provoking someone. Trying to start a fight Right? I'm reminded of the Three Stooges.