2004-12-09

Awake, and Rub the ___ Out of your Eyes...

Sorry if some of you find this tasteless, but one of my SHEW students writes in his journal that he never knew there was a name for "the stuff that's found in one's eye after sleep." He cites the word as "gound," and claimed he learned it from his brother. The OED online defines "gound" as "Foul matter, esp. that secreted in the eye," but claims it's obsolete (!). Okay, so is there a non-obsolete way to refer to this substance in English? (I know it in Bengali--heard my mother use it since early childhood). Two phrases, "eye booger" and "eye crud," come to mind. According to Matt Weiner's blog, the stuff could be called "sleep" too, as reanalyzed from the expression "to rub the sleep out of one's eyes." From the standpoint of Googlinguistics, "Eye booger" generates 599 hits and "eye crud" 185. My question to you native-English-speaking LingGrads out there: what did you call it as a kid (or what do you call it when talking to your kid?). Does anyone else know or use "gound?"

6 Comments:

Blogger W1ll13 30% Hacker said...

Urban dictionary also supports "eye booger".

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=eye+booger&r=f

8:43 PM  
Blogger SCO'Re von (temporarily at least) Tübingen GmbH said...

People in my family always called it a "sleepyman" (not sure if there would be a space between the two parts). "You've got a sleepyman in your eye."

9:05 AM  
Blogger secret lingmirer said...

I've always called it 'sleep.'

11:17 PM  
Blogger The Guardian Reader said...

It's called "sleepie." Sure as shootin'.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Urban said...

It was always called "sleep" in my family.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Mauricio said...

Rheum. That is what it is called.

5:34 PM  

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