March 06, 2004

Sleep as a Kind of Booger

In this X-bar post about boogers, a discussion comes up concerning the term for the dried stuff that accumulates in your eyes. When I was a kid I called it "sleep" for a little while, but I eventually stopped doing so and stopped hearing anyone else do so. Eventually I became convinced that I had misapprended it from the idiom "rub the sleep out of your eyes"--if you look for what comes out of your eyes when you rub, it's sleep. But two X-bar commentators confirm that they call it sleep, too.

("Eye booger" is much more perspicuous, though.)

Posted by Matt Weiner at March 6, 2004 01:13 PM

I always thought the accepted term was 'eye crud'.

Google tells me that 'eye booger' (288) is more common than 'eye crud' (74), but both of those numbers are pretty small.

Posted by: Jonathan Ichikawa at March 6, 2004 01:49 PM

I think I first encountered "eye booger" in a Dave Barry column--he may have a disproportionate popularizing effect.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at March 6, 2004 01:54 PM