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#1 2008-06-24 12:04:18

Brooksie99
Member
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 2007-10-27
Posts: 27

oogle < < ogle

This is one I’ve heard for some time in casual conversation, but I’ve begun to see it in formal writing. Obviously, the person is referring to visual admiration of someone; usually, quite openly doing so but falling short of leering.

I’m a school librarian, and we recently had a Garfield book challenged for its content. A college educated parent wrote a letter complaining that Odie was “oogling” a scantily clad female cartoon dog. This, of course, is worthy of a good, old fashioned book burning (just kidding)! My college educated boyfriend, much to my chagrin, has also used oogle in conversation.

Is it a true eggcorn or just a near miss? I suspect it’s evolved because many aren’t sure how to pronounce ogle. I think the eggcorn imagery is there, as oogle has an onomatopoeic quality to it. When you’re admiring someone “ooh” comes to mind more than “oh”; you’re also look*ing at someone, and the sound is closer to *oogle.

Etymological note: ogle is from Low German for eye which Webster’s spells as oog.

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#2 2008-06-24 13:20:09

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2390
Website

Re: oogle < < ogle

This one’s standard for several people I know. I agree that “oohing and aahing” is probably somehow involved. We don’t talk about ‘ogles’ anymore, so the other form has become opaque.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#3 2008-06-24 17:17:46

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1067

Re: oogle < < ogle

I’ve never heard ogle pronounced ‘oogle’ but have often heard it sounded as ‘oggle.’ Oggling has 827unique hits to oogling’s 788. I’ve always assumed some relationship between oggling and goggling, so perhaps there may be another between oogling and googling; when goggling we stare with wide open eyes, and when googling we, well, we look at or for something or someone…

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#4 2008-06-24 17:36:50

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2390
Website

Re: oogle < < ogle

oogle (both pronounced and written) antedates Google.

Another word which may have influenced it is “oodles (and oodles)”, which of course may also have been active in the famous coinage of “googol”/”google”. “Oodles” means (perhaps) “so many that you’re left (staring) dumbfounded”, which fits rather well with “oogling”.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#5 2008-06-24 18:56:31

Brooksie99
Member
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 2007-10-27
Posts: 27

Re: oogle < < ogle

Peter,

I’ve never heard ogle pronounced ‘oogle’ but have often heard it sounded as ‘oggle.’

It’s interesting what we hear in different regions or parts of the world. I’ve never heard ‘oggle’ in the Midwest States. I see your connection between goggling and ogling, but I honestly feel it’s more a phonetic interpretation; the imagery doesn’t quite work for me. Goggle suggests bulging eyes; a state of disbelief, while ogle suggests a more subtle flirtation or admiration.

I thought there too might be the influence of Google simply because it is so ubiquitous a tool that it may have infiltrated the language beyond merely becoming a verb. However, I agree that ‘oogle’ has been heard before the arrival of Google in our every day lives.

A friend of mine thought ‘oogle’ street slang suggesting a more robust quality that bordered on leering. After a peek at the Urban Dictionary, I found that ‘oogle’ is slang for a poser or wannabe; it’s strictly a noun. ‘Oogling’, on the other hand, does appear as a separate entry in the Urban Dictionary with the meaning of ‘ogling’. “Oogling her goodies” is used as an example bearing out that people do indeed intend ‘ogle’. ‘Oggle’ makes an appearance too and suggests lust or “learing” [sic] (can we make any Shakespearean connections?). Perhaps people do then use these words interchangeably for ‘ogle’ with ‘oogle’ being closest to the original word meaning and ‘oggle’ being a close cousin with a more overtly sexual connotation? Any other thoughts?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=oogling

Side note: apologies for the boldface weirdness; I wasn’t aware that the asterisk serves as a text editing cue.

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#6 2008-06-24 19:15:04

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1067

Re: oogle < < ogle

It seems that both oogle and google antedate Google. ‘Googly eyes’ are bulging, staring eyes and I still feel there may be some link between oogle and google – a quick glance at Google books reveals the likes of…

The Canada Lancet and Practitioner. ...
1893
Page 196
... ie. the process of making ‘google eyes’ at any female other than the lawful
mistress, is pointed out to them and especial …
No preview available – About this book – Add to my library – More editions

Electric Railway Service
by Detroit United Lines Publicity Dept – Electric railroads – 1913
N. R, To the Editor— As a masher I wish to say that I cannot help but look at a
young lady when she makes “google” eyes at me. The following incidents will …
Snippet view – About this book – Add to my library – More editions

as well as

The Judge
American wit and humor – 1881
We had not gone more than two miles when Oogly Googly. who wa,s sitting on …
Oogly Googly motioned me that there was nothing else to do but to leave the …
Snippet view – About this book – Add to my library – More editions

Last edited by Peter Forster (2008-06-24 19:21:18)

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#7 2008-06-24 19:36:45

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2390
Website

Re: oogle < < ogle

Yes, “google(y) eyes” is a much better (i.e. more likely) source for “oogle” than the search engine “Google”. And I definitely remember it being used for eyes peering at what they should not (peeping Tom eyes), besides for eyes that physically pop out from the face, or eyes that express a state of love-smittenness. The first and last of those fit very well with oogling in most contexts.

For “googol” see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googol. I don’t think it was uncommon to spell it “google”, though it may be less so since Google.

I asked my wife what “google eyes” meant to her, and she (not a computer geek) immediately said “check it out on Google”, i.e. Google-ize. But when I clarified that I was talking about referring to someone’s google-eyes, she said it was a come-hither look, a give-you-the-once-over look (but offering to connect, not check-you-out and move on). For her it was definitely connected to oogle/ogle/oggle (about whose pronunciation she is not consistent.)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2008-06-24 19:39:13)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#8 2008-06-24 20:58:01

Brooksie99
Member
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 2007-10-27
Posts: 27

Re: oogle < < ogle

Great historical usage finds, Peter.

I like the google(y) eyes imagery; it fits the definition of ogle where the target of one’s admiration knows there is a lingering, longing look going on and a possible desire to connect, but it’s definitely a ‘softer’ gesture than making buggy, goggle eyes and not at all leering or lascivious.

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#9 2008-06-25 02:35:18

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: oogle < < ogle

Good heavens! Am I really the only person on the forum for whom “googly eyes” is actively part of their lexicon? I was a bit worried when it sounded like all of you considered it an outlandish or “historical” usage—but relieved when I got over 8000 raw hits for “making googly eyes.”

I guess it can refer to a come-hither look given by someone who’s just spotted someone else, but it certainly doesn’t have to. It can also mean something like “giving each other (stupidly) amorous looks,” and the people in question can already be entangled with each other romantically. I often think of two young people who’ve just fallen in love recently as making googly eyes at each other. And children accuse parents of making googly eyes at each other. I think there’s often an element of goofiness or silliness implied—at least in the non-googly eyes of onlookers.

After writing all the above, I realized I should check the OED. The second definition is the one relevant here:

1. Of eyes: large, round, and staring. Hence googly-eyed a.
1901 ‘H. MCHUGH’ Down Line 35 Is id to my face you go behind my back to make googley-googley eyes.
1926 Spectator 21 Aug. 287/2 A golliwog hugging in its hideous embrace a googley-eyed Dutch doll. 1927 Daily Mirror 10 Dec. 16/1 Others with movable googly eyes in a hand-painted face.
1928 Daily Express 20 June 13/6 Strange, googly-eyed goldfish.
1959 I. & P. OPIE Lore & Lang. Schoolch. xiii. 298 No more beetles in my tea Making googly eyes at me.

2. Disposed to love-making, ‘spoony’.
1929 W. DEEPING Roper’s Row x. §3. 107 She ascribed Mr. George’s googly, amorous interest to fatherliness.
1932 C. WILLIAMS Greater Trumps v. 85 And father would say, ‘Really, Sybil!’ without being googly.

The OED thinks the phrase may be derived from “goo-goo eyes,” and here’s that entry:

Of the eyes or glances: amorous, ‘spoony’. Also n., an amorous glance, a ‘glad eye’.
1900 GODFREY & HILBURY He used to play on the Oboe, She’d make goo-goo eyes at the bandsmen above.
1901 ‘H. MCHUGH’ John Henry 13 ‘It is awfully nice of you to ask me to see Bernhardt,’ says The Real Thing, throwing a goo-goo at me that settles everything. Ibid. 76 He’ll turn such a warm pair of goo-goo eyes on her that somebody will have to..yell for the fire department.
1906 N. MUNRO Daft Days ix, They made goo-goo-eyes at me when I said the least thing.
1906 Westm. Gaz. 22 Sept. 5/2, I don’t go round making goo-goo eyes for roses, anyway.
1924 C. HAMILTON Prisoners of Hope 101 The women..fling a goo-goo at the band.
1959 J. THURBER Years with Ross ix. 158 There was so much spooning and goo-goo eyes.

The OED says that some think “goo-goo eyes” is related to “goggle.”

Before anyone asks, let me just say that “spoony” is not part of my active lexicon. The relevant definition seems to be 2a in the OED:

2. a. Sentimentally or foolishly amorous.
1836 MARRYAT Midsh. Easy xxii, I never was in love my~self, but I’ve seen many others spooney.
1859 LEVER D. Dunn lxvi, The man who is not actually in love with you, but only ‘spooney’.
1882 B. M. CROKER Proper Pride I. iii. 52 They are not a bit a spooney couple; at least I never see any billing or cooing.

“Sentimentally or foolishly amorous” is a pretty good definition for “googly” as I’ve heard it used.

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#10 2008-06-25 21:11:58

jorkel
Eggcornista
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1456

Re: oogle < < ogle

I was a little late to chime in on this one. Like Pat, “Googly eyes” was the first association I made in this eggcorn-to-be.

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