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Sheep's eye and licorice tooth

Posted by Bruce Kahl on December 29, 2000

In Reply to: Sheep's eye and licorice tooth posted by ESC on December 29, 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) roget/entries/865.html

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

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,

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

Websters Unabridged on 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 2/3/257/frameset.html