Here's mud in your eye!

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Alton » Sat Jun 18, 2005 10:58 pm

Can anyone tell me the origins and meaning of the drinking toast, "Here's mud in your eye".
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Signature: R.A.J. Metcalfe

Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Shelley » Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:06 pm

If your horse is behind another horse in a race, the lead horse will kick up mud into your face, thus "mud in your eye".
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Alton » Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:21 pm

Shelly, how does this become a drinking toast?
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:05 am

Alton, HERE’S MUD IN YOUR EYE is an informal/jocular drinking salutation akin to ‘Here's to you!’ ‘Good health!’ ‘Cheers!’ ‘Here’s looking at you! It is sometimes abbreviated as HERE’S MUD!, MUD IN YOUR EYE!, MUD!, etc.

Two theories for the origin are:

1) It originated in the muddy trenches of WWI or in the cafes where English and American soldiers spent there leave time – perhaps better 'mud in your eye' than something more lethal.

2) It refers to the sediment which is often found in the bottom of a glass of wine. The OED lists ‘dregs’ as a colloquial meaning of MUD. The original meaning of the toast may have been that if one drains their glass too enthusiastically, one may literally find ‘mud in their eye.’

Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang dates the term from the 1910s (no quotes provided). However, most other sources give the date of 1927.
<1927 “‘HERE’S MUD IN YOUR EYE!’ said one of the modern pilgrims, tossing down his martini.”—‘In Search of England’ by H. V. Morton, iii. page 60>

<1929 “MUD IN YOUR EYE!”—‘Hollywood Girl’ by McEvoy, page 148>

<1929 “HERE’S MUD.”—‘Virginian’ (film) by Paramore & Estabrook>

<1933 “HERE’S MUD IN YOUR EYE, Doc”—‘Island of Lost Souls’ (film) by Young & Wylie>

<1936 “Well, HERE’S MUD IN YOUR EYE!” I tossed it up with one gulp.”—‘Iron Man’ by R. E. Howard, page 159>

<1949 “‘Skin off your nose, Jeeves.’ ‘MUD IN YOUR EYE, sir, if I may use the expression.’”—‘Mating Season’ by P. G. Wodehouse, xxiii. page 198>

<1952 “‘HERE’S MUD,’ he said. We drank.”—‘Who Walk in Darkness’ by C. Brossard, page 100>
(Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Brewer’s Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, Oxford Dictionary of Slang, Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word & Phrase Origins, Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, Picturesque Expressions by Urdang, Chapman’s Dictionary of American Slang)
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Ken G – June 22, 2005
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:48 am

Ken, "English soldiers", I think "British" would be a better word, my grandfather was there for one.
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Shelley » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:42 pm

He declared . . . the latter British expression “Mud in your eyes” derived from World War II when bombs exploded, soldiers in trenches that were just temporarily blinded by receiving mud in their eyes were very thankful to be alive. Thus when the British expression is used, it wishes long life, and good health . . .
The above by a student named Tonnia at a website called studyabroad.com. She says it's from WWII though, and that wouldn't be right if Ken's got quotes from 1927.
The horse-racing reference came from using google, and it was right at the top of the list. The name James Briggs was associated with the discussion. It said the toast is somewhat self-serving, and not exactly a goodwill wish: more like "see you in hell" or better you than me".
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:13 pm

Shelley, A word of advice. I don’t want to discourage you from doing research, but one must use some discrimination in what one takes as worthy to be posted as a possible explanation. Just because you find that someone on the internet has addressed a question that we are discussing doesn’t make it worthy of quoting. Anyone can say anything on the internet – right, wrong, or totally ridiculous. If I quoted everything I saw just because someone on the internet said it, my postings would be filled nonsensical garbage / falsehoods / folk etymology / urban legends / etc. Your above WWII quote immediately disqualifies itself because I have clearly shown that the expression was around long before that – so why bother posting what this person has said? They obviously don’t know what they are talking about.

And as far as quoting James Briggs (Phrase Finder) goes, he is a bit more respectable, but he also gives no explanation of where he came up with his conclusion, and based on what I found I disagree with everything he has said in his Phrase Finder posting. However, if you are going to quote such a source, you should tell us what that source is and not just state as gospel what they said. We may then be able to make some judgment as to the reliability of that source. If, for example, your grandfather, who had happened to have been an avid horse racing fan, had told you that he drew this conclusion from his years around race tracks in the 1920s, that would be worthy of telling us. Or, on the other hand, if you had found that explanation in a Dictionary of Phrase origins (these guys devote their lives to hunting these things down), we would certainly want to know that. Or if you have some logical reason for believing that something is true, tell us what that is. But if Joe Blow said ‘this is the truth,’ without giving any reason that you might deem worthy of repeating – FORGET IT!

So, do continue to do research – that’s good and we need more people doing it – but be a bit more careful about your sources and then tell us who they are and/or how you drew your conclusions.
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Ken G – June 23, 2005
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by spiritus » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:50 am

Hmmm...you may accept as gospel, that Bill Clinton's favorite drinking toast was, "here's man-juice on your dress".

( My sources were intuitive and my lack of research --- well, just sorta' felt right. )
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Shelley » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:32 pm

In response to your gentle admonition, Ken: you have the site's (and my) best interests in mind, and I appreciate the time you took to tell me off -- uh, instruct me.
Y'know, when posting the racing reference I knew I was straying. I was at the office, and since I didn't have my books with me I tried to shortcut, using the internet. (What does it mean, anyway, when people say things like, "a google search yielded 210,000 hits . . ."?)
Ah, well -- excuses, excuses. Sorry, Teach -- won't happen again.
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Alan » Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:06 pm

Here's another possible source of the term Here's mud in your eye: Jesus healed a blind man by putting mud on his eyes. Inasmuch as the phrase is to wish one good health, the "miracle" story may be an earlier source than any of the others suggested so far -- and more reasonable than some. Here's to your health!
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Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:47 am

Alan, I was unfamiliar with that story, but it does appear in the King James Bible in 'The Gospel According to John' (9:5-7).
<“As long as I [[Jesus]] am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And said unto him. Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent [[??]].) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”>
It’s funny, if this is the source, that the expression didn’t end up HERE’S CLAY IN YOUR EYE! (<:) And I think another reason that no respectable etymologist, that I am aware of, has suggested this as the source is that it would be mighty peculiar – although not impossible – for an obscure (at least to many) passage from the Bible, suddenly in 1927, to become the basis of a drinking toast. I’ve got a nifty little book entitled Coined by God (2003) by Malles & McQuain, which contains 131 common words, phrases, expressions that can be traced back to the Bible, from the Wycliffe translation of 1382 through the King James version of 1611, and “Here’s Mud in Your Eye” ain’t among them – I’m not all that surprised.
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Ken G – July 3, 2005
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Re: Here's mud in your eye!

Post by KG still an ass?? » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:47 am

I just saw this phrase used on a movie, so I goggled it to finally figure out where it came from. that's when I stumbled onto this old thread. I was so blown away by what an inconceivable prick this Ken guy was, that I actually registered an account just to voice my disgust. if you're still out there Ken, I really hope for your sake you've toned down the dickishness since '05
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Re: Here's mud in your eye!

Post by trolley » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:33 am

Ken, you've made this guy goggle and probably frightened Shelley away with your display of dickosity.
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Re: Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:14 am

aaa
I've since toned down and now highly recommend that everyone should quote unreliable sources!
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Ken – September 18, 2012
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Re: Here's mud in your eye!

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:59 am

It seems pretty 'dickish', to use the terminology of the person whose posting is third above this one, to:

1) Register under an insulting username specifically in order to create an obnoxious posting with the sole purpose of further insulting an existing forum member;
2) Use a posting dating back more than seven years as the excuse for this behaviour;
3) Offer nothing constructive whatsoever.

I don't know what this individual thinks they are achieving besides creating an extremely poor impression on everyone who happens to read their words, and thereby straightaway guaranteeing that no-one will take either them or their opinions seriously.

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