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stalking horse

1. A political candidate who attempts to supplant the current party leader, solely to gauge how much support the incumbent has. He doesn't actually want to be elected—he's just a stalking horse who's trying to see how fractured our party really is.
2. Something that conceals a person's true intentions. I'm afraid that this deal is just a stalking horse for a more nefarious long-term plan.
See also: horse, stalk

stalk in(to some place)

to stride into a place, perhaps indignantly. Carl stalked into the manager's office and began his tirade. He stalked in and began to complain.
See also: stalk

stalk out of

some place to stride out of a place indignantly. Jeff stalked out of the store and went straight to the police. Mary got angry and stalked out of the meeting.
See also: of, out, stalk

somebody's eyes are out on stalks

  (informal) also somebody's eyes are popping out of their head (informal)
if someone's eyes are out on stalks, they are looking at someone or something in a way that shows that they think that person or thing is extremely surprising or attractive
Usage notes: In funny drawings, people and animals are often drawn with their eyes coming out of their head to show that they are very surprised.
You should have seen Pete when Bec turned up in her short skirt. His eyes were out on stalks.
See also: eye, on, out, stalk

a stalking horse

1. a politician who tests the strength of a party's support for its leader by competing for the job of leading the party although they do not really intend to be elected He was a stalking horse, intended to undermine what was regarded at the time as a weak leadership.
2. something that is used to hide someone's real purpose It's feared that the talks are just a stalking horse for a much wider deal between the two parties.
See also: horse, stalk
References in classic literature ?
For in a heap higher than the King's palace lay all the grain of the country, and not a single stalk of corn had been left behind in any of the fields.
She bent in her saddle, plucked a stalk of the ripe grain, and nibbled it between her teeth.
Whereupon, leaving Jerry on deck to stalk the wild-dog, Captain Van Horn went below into the tiny stateroom and took a long drink from the very bottle from which Borckman was stealing.
Piously and silently doth he stalk along on the star-carpets:--but I like no light-treading human feet, on which not even a spur jingleth.
Before depositing their eggs, green lacewings release from their reproductive glands a substance that forms stalks for their eggs to sit on, keeping them out of the way of hungry predators.
Some people say the slenderest stalks are the most tender, but I love the fat, fresh stalks.
In 20 years of busted antelope stalks -- and some successes -- I've identified five components of successful stalks.
Asparagus stalks continue to grow even after they're picked; packing crates must have extra space to accommodate growth.
Goldwasser observed that the flower stalks of seven species in the Araceae family, including philodendrons and "elephant ears," can heat up to more than 105[deg.
Several years ago I was on two stalks that ended in marathon waits.
In this study, three-layer particleboards were produced from mixtures of sunflower stalks (Helianthus annuus L.
1 pound bok choy, stalks and leaves separated and cut into 1/4-inch slices
For this study, we recycled bleached and unbleached pulps (both beaten and unbeaten) from jute and cotton stalks in water medium five times and measured changes in strength properties and fiber dimensions.
Shredding and uniformly incorporating stalks into soil is a normal farm practice accepted worldwide.
The stalks are edible and can be used in pies, sauces, and chutneys.