Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
Maybe its owner was making dog biscuits? I doe know.
I was about to post a new entry, ‘dough-eyed’ for ‘doe-eyed’, when I found this entry via Google; it didn’t show up on the forum search.
‘Doe-eyed’ (254,000 ghits) means innocent, wide-eyed, naive etc, assumedly from the female deer (especially the Disney varieties – think Bambi). ‘Dough’ is a far more common word than ‘doe’ and I suspect that ‘dough-eyed’ (288 ghits) is a genuine eggcorn, though I confess to some difficulty with any alternative imagery. Could it be that dough might be seen as immature bread, ignorant of the mysteries of the oven? Okay, I’m trying too hard – but something’s going on here…
Picture this: a portly, dough-eyed, flaxen-haired lad making his screen debut in the horrific 1989 remake of “Lord of the Flies”. ...
sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2007786&type=story – 22k – Cached
And to’ve been told there are plenty of people my age who are not innocent and that I’m innocent, very dough-eyed. Do you know how much impact these words …
www.blurty.com/users/organicspirals/ – 41k – Cached
Just when you think you?ve seen it all, a new group of dough eyed true believers come out of the woodwork. This time, it?sa goof troop in Atlanta that …
cn.w2forum.com/i/RSS_News/?viewModuleOnly=147 – 42k – Cached
Gordon Brown is very dough eyed when it comes to family….....and the system reflects that. Round here, its not uncommon for a family of 6 or 7 muslims to …
www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php … 84786.html – 40k – Cached
I think you’re on the right track, Peter. “Dough” can be thought of anything in it’s early stages …and provide a parallel imagery to “doe.” However, I think the whole possibility of an eggcorn falls apart with the ”-eyed” portion.
I wish we could ask one of the utterers what image is in their head when they use this word. It’s obvious the context is right, it’s just…how in the world does “dough” fit in? Either they’re shrugging off any imagery and using the word with impunity or they’ve got a hell of an imagination and I would love to know what they came up with. I appreciate the hypotheses offered; I’m just wondering if the truth of the matter is even more interesting than our best guesses.
This is a bit of a stretch, but here goes….
Very small children often have lighter color than they will eventually mature with. I, for one, had nearly white hair before I started school, and I think my eyes were hazel; both are now very dark brown. This progression is also seen in the animal world (where the young are less brightly colored for camouflage) and even in plants (where new shoots are paler than mature plants). So there’s an association of continua: light/pale > dark/deep, young > mature, innocent > worldly.
Dough is very light in color, and this association is what pops into my mind when I read “dough-eyed”. Dough is also an immature form, destined to become a darker baked good.
Add to that that “the eyes are the windows of the soul.” People with darker irises strike me as having greater depth, perhaps deep dark secrets, while conversely, people with light eyes seem more open, like they have nothing to hide.
These associations are just my personal perceptions, like Rorshack inkblots. I don’t claim they make any objective sense, and maybe they aren’t widely shared. In particular, it’s a stretch to think that these vague associations would override physical reality to the point of calling an innocent dog “dough-eyed” despite its having dark eyes. But at least it makes a connection.
I think we’re seeing a result of the urbanization of culture. When society was more rural, then “doe” was a familiar term. Now the image of a doe is probably not as readily on people’s minds. (I suppose we should be somewhat surprised that many people are still familiar with “dough,” except that you can buy it in tubes in the grocery store.) I’m convinced that most eggcorns or other variants come about because of hearing and associating the heard word with the wrong homophone. I think in this case, they pull up the image of dough vs. doe because they are more familiar with it.
On the other hand, it may just be a misspelling and people are not picturing a gooey dun-colored mass at all, but in any case it presents an interesting mental image.
Feeling quite combobulated.
You could described someone as dough-eyed if they look only half baked…
Well done, gilibug.
Peter—if you’re out there, congratulations on getting a belated but much-deserved citation in the Database for “dough-eyed.” Now I’m hoping that my favorite find of yours—“once in a bloom moon”—won’t have to wait until the next occurrence of that strange and poetic celestial phenomenon it namechecks.