Poison my eyes

Posted by ESC on February 25, 2005

In Reply to: Poison my eyes posted by Chris on February 25, 2005

: What does "Poison my eyes" mean? And where is it from?

Could you give us a sentence or the source of the phrase? I am wondering if it has a connection to (from the archives):

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."