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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

(one's) eyes are out on stalks

1. One is looking at someone in a way that indicates sexual interest. Of course he likes you—his eyes are out on stalks every time he sees you!
2. One is looking at something with wonder or awe. My brother loves superhero movies, so his eyes will definitely be out on stalks when he sees the trailer for this one.
See also: eye, on, out, 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

a stalking horse

1. If you describe an event or an action as a stalking horse, you mean that it is being used to help someone get what they really want at a later date. The development will act as a stalking horse for further exploitation of the surrounding countryside. Limits on union contributions will be a stalking horse to break the relationship between the party and the unions. Note: This expression is usually used to show disapproval.
2. In politics, a stalking horse is someone who stands against the leader of a party to test the strength of any opposition to the leader. They then withdraw in favour of a stronger challenger, if it looks likely that the leader can be defeated. There was even talk of one of them standing for the leadership as a stalking horse for the real contender. Note: You can also use stalking horse before a noun. The notion of a stalking horse challenge at the autumn party conference seemed highly unlikely. Note: Stalking horses were horses that were used by hunters. They were trained to allow their rider to hide behind them, and so get closer to the birds they were hunting.
See also: horse, stalk

eyes out on stalks

full of eager curiosity or amazement. informal
1999 Escape This breathtaking graphics accelerator takes 3D game play on PCI systems to a whole new dimension of excitement with imagery so realistic your eyes will be out on stalks.
See also: eye, on, out, stalk
References in periodicals archive ?
The poem that Kipling next refashioned, "Bishop Blougram's Apology," which Beetle's schoolmaster had quoted to the "inky boy" he called "Master Gigadibs" (Complete Stalky, p.
This last quotation typifies the move used throughout Stalky & Co.
A soon-to-be father and seasonal slave to the computer drawing program he uses to create the stalky networks.
She was grateful and, being theatrical, had brought him a bouquet of stalky orange and blue flowers.
If a large stalky foliage plant is available for use, make an air layer.
There's no buzz and the finish is quite stalky and dry.
Extreme mediation by the print and broadcast press has squeezed out the juices and left the news stalky and dull.
37) Or if garden imagery appears in a more canonical story like Stalky & Co.
He then went to a boarding school in North Devon that was featured as the unruly paradise celebrated in Stalky & Co.
His schoolboy experiences served as the basis for Stalky and Co.
Plants grow less vigorously than common spearmint, and the stalky, tightly leafed stems make attractive garnishes in cold drinks.
Within the grass-lined duck ponds, around the oyster reefs, or along the tall, stalky Roseau cane edges, eating-size slot fish grow fat and numerous, while the oversized bull reds spend their days in the coastal zone, around the passes, barrier islands and nearshore drilling rigs.
Made from the classic claret blend but very lightly coloured, it has every bit the typical stalky Bordeaux nose of blackcurrant and violets.
Leaf lettuce like romaine and spinach, often the subject of recalls, are harder to clean because of their stalky nature.
Then, a few days before the concert, it all got a bit stalky when a parcel turned up at my door - she'd sent me their latest album.