"damn your eyes"

Posted by ESC on November 11, 1999

In Reply to: Meaning of "damn your eyes" posted by Joel on November 11, 1999

: What is the meaning of the phrase "damn your eyes" -- and secondarily, is it's origin known?

: Thanks.

There's a very good blues song, "Damn Your Eyes," about an unfaithful lover. I took the phrase to be a curse -- another way of saying "damn your soul," the eyes being the "window to the soul" with a nice double meaning of "damn your eyes" for looking at another woman. All I've found so far in my references books is a different meaning that muddies the waters even further:

"damn-my-eyes. adj. Naut. flashy; ostentatious. 1849 Melville 'White Jacket' 293 (ref. to 1843): You may put that man down for what man-of-war's men call a 'damn-my-eyes tar,' that is a humbug. And many damn-my-eyes humbugs there are. 1899 Boyd 'Shellback 16 (ref. to 1860's): A tall complexioned hat and a 'd--n my eyes' necktie."

I've come to believe that all phrases are either from Shakespeare, the Bible or are nautical terms.