keep one's eyes peeled

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US, 19th century. Peeled probably refers to keeping one's eyelids retracted.


keep one's eyes peeled

  1. (intransitive, idiomatic, (with "for")) To be on the alert, to be watchful.
    • 1990, Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park:
      And directly below is our Mesozoic jungle river -- where, if you are lucky, you just may catch a glimpse of a very rare carnivore. Keep your eyes peeled, everyone!
    • 2003 November 14, Laura Bly, “Sailing into the past”, in USA Today:
      lookouts posted to the port and starboard bows keep their eyes peeled for the ghostly outline of approaching traffic.