This is Chuck, my Great Dane/hound dog mix. Chuck is giving me the GIMLET EYE. I love this phrase, and use it a few times in Mercy of the Moon. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it means “an eye with a piercing stare.” I clicked over to the website Wordwizard, and thanks to an article by Ken Greenwald discovered that a gimlet, besides being a drink made with gin or vodka, is also a very sharp woodworking tool made back in the 1500’s.
Chuck is taking advantage of the fact that he has lost weight and knows that I will do just about anything to get him to eat, including but not limited to spoon-feeding. Don’t judge me-he’s the best dog we’ve ever had, a complete sofa spud, and the perfect writer’s companion. He is wild about bread and waits for my crusts with a GIMLET EYE. My boy could easily rest his giant head on the table and snatch it, but he doesn’t. He could probably stand there for hours with complete faith he’ll get what he wants. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s smart enough to fix me with a GIMLET EYE.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we resurrected some of these old phrases and words? Apparently, this word originated in 1752, as far as anyone can tell. I would love to see us enriching conversations and increasing the vocabulary of our society. We could tweet it, text it, slip it into our everyday conversations:
- At the grocery store check out: “Madame, there is no need to fix me with the gimlet eye, I did not see the EXPRESS LANE sign.
- You have accidentally dis-programmed the remote: “Honey, you offend me with your gimlet eye, I was only trying to help.”
- At your job: “As manager, I strongly advise against the gimlet eye when dealing with customers. it gives them the wrong impression.”
Let’s start a trend. Wow a friend with this cool phrase. Or give it to someone who deserves it.