private eye


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private eye

slang A private investigator or detective. "Eye" is a pun on the letter "i" in "investigator." The disgraced police detective moved to another state and started a business as a private eye. It turned out they'd hired a private eye to keep tabs on her after she left the law firm.
See also: eye, private

private eye

A privately employed detective, as opposed to one working for the police or another authority. For example, The children loved stories about private eyes, and Janey wanted to become one. This expression comes from the term private investigator, the "i" of investigator being changed to "eye," which plays on the idea of a person looking into things. [1930s]
See also: eye, private

a ˌprivate ˈeye

(informal) a detective who is not in the police, but who can be employed to find out information, find a missing person, follow somebody, etc: They hired a private eye to look for more evidence.
See also: eye, private

private eye

n. a detective who is licensed to work privately rather than for a police department. I worked for a while as a private eye.
See also: eye, private
References in periodicals archive ?
8220;My thanks to the team at Private Eye for their kind support.
He revealed: "I've always fancied playing a private eye, ever since I saw Jack Nicholson as Jake Gittes in Chinatown.
Marnham's opus was unofficial and was not well received by those who ran Private Eye, but Macqueen's will not cause offence.
Private Eye is a relatively small operation run from London offices with a permanent staff of about 20 and a "huge number" of freelancers.
Few of those whose scandals, gaffes and blunders have been ex-x posed this year have escaped mentions in the Private Eye Annual 2009.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph noted with interest that the story surfaced soon after Rose appeared alongside Private Eye editor Ian Hislop on a recent edition of Question Time.
But Private Eye simply replied: "Mr Callaghan is referred to the Eye's reply in the famous case of Arkell v Pressdram (1971).
Private Eye was founded by four old boys of Shrewsbury School--Christopher Booker (editor 1961-63), Paul Foot (nephew of the politician Michael Foot), Richard Ingrams (editor 1963-87) and Willie Rushton, all of whom had worked on the school magazine, The Salopian.
Some may rankle at a private eye who unabashedly ogles women, but Heller is a product of his time, charming and roguish, with a wealth of sardonic humor.
Their quest will cause them to witness the mysteries of the forest, meet a paraplegic private eye with a three-legged bloodhound, and discover a secret that will change their lives forever.
The veteran left-wing writer -- a former journalist with the Daily Mirror and satirical magazine Private Eye -- was well-known for his anti-war views and campaigns against miscarriages of justice.
Detectives either in law enforcement or in the private sector--typically have distinct personality traits (see "America's Original Private Eye," page 77): They're as good with people as they are with numbers and they are inclined to be aggressive rather than shy and retiring.
The idea is to insulate CEOs--under the privileged claim of attorney-client work product--from the hands-on private eye work, some of which can be messy.
A private eye hired by the defense found various porn magazines of equivalent sexual content for sale in the area, raising the possibility that the comic might not really violate community standards.
European systems integrator Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (CGEY) is facing a financial slapped wrist for a recent foray into less-than-conventional advertising methods, according to a recent story in satirical magazine Private Eye.
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