April 2, 2014

Men were forbidden to make "goo-goo eyes" in Houston.

Back in 1905, Eugene Volokh reports.

The term "goo-goo" — referring to eyes or glances (to mean " amorous, ‘spoony’") — is only traced back to 1900 in the (unlinkable) OED, so Houston adopted the slang awfully quickly. Historical examples from the OED:
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.
1901 ‘H. McHugh’ John Henry 76 He'll turn such a warm pair of goo-goo eyes on her that somebody will have to..yell for the fire department....
1907 N. Munro Daft Days ix. 81 They made goo-goo-eyes at me when I said the least thing.

5 comments:

Robert Cook said...

I wonder if the phrase was the inspiration for BARNEY GOOGLE (and his goo-goo-googly eyes)?

Carter Wood said...

Barney Google had protruding eyes, but according to Spike Jones, he was quite the lover, too:

Who's the most important man this country ever knew?
Do you know what politician I have reference to?
Well, it isn't Mr. Bryan, and it isn't Mr. Hughes.
I've got a hunch that to that bunch I'm going to introduce:
(Again you're wrong and to this throng I'm going to Introduce:)
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google bet his horse would win the prize.
When the horses ran that day, Spark Plug ran the other way.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google had a wife three times his size
She sued Barney for divorce
Now he's living with his horse

Who's the greatest lover that this country ever knew?
And who's the man that Valentino takes his hat off to?
No, it isn't Douglas Fairbanks that the ladies rave about.
When he arrives, who makes the wives chase all their husbands
out?
Why, it's Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
Barney Google is the guy who never buys.
Women take him out to dine, then he steals the waiter's dime.
Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Myself, I find Nancy Pelosi's GOOd GOOvernment eyes very disturbing.

It's horrible when she gets that look!

See for yourself:

http://tinyurl.com/lxxyszo

(SFW, but still...)

p.s. in the FDR era, earnest liberals were called GOO-GOOs.

gerry said...

Goo-goo eyes was the original date rape. Just another part of white-male-hegemony-rape-culture...

Elektra Tig said...

Sexism! Why were men prohibited from making goo-goo eyes while women weren't barred from making Bette Davis eyes?