hitting the bull’s eye

March 19, 2008



“You’re not going to be happy until you put someone’s eye out

A bull’s-eye is the center of a target in both archery and darts. The shot taken to achieve this feat is called hitting the bull’s-eye.

Although originally a sports term, bull’s-eye can be used for pretty much any design or pattern utilizing concentric circles. Bull’s-eye can also be used to describe a lens of short focal length, a circular window, a piece of glass inserted into a ship’s deck, or those round, striped mints you stuff into your pockets when the waitress isn’t looking, as you leave the restaurant. That’s right, I know you do.

Being quite the versatile idiom, hitting the bull’s-eye along with hit the mark and hit the nail on the head is used when someone or something is absolutely correct. For example:

“Honey, your remark about my butt looking fat in these jeans really hit the bull’s-eye. Now here’s your pillow. Enjoy sleeping on the couch tonight.”

Anywho… bull’s-eye… versatile… oh yes, the origin. Yeah, no luck there. It may have been used since the 17th century, but the etymology seems to be a mystery. At least none of my sophisticated sources (Google) has revealed anything.

I do have one question however. Why a bull’s eye? Why not a fish or a bird or a bunny’s eye? How about dinosaur’s eye? Something to think about when you don’t have anything more important to ponder.