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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 ?
Victims who blame themselves for being stalked report a significantly higher severity of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms.
163) General intent standards provide protection to victims including those who are stalked by offenders who may be delusional and believe their overtures will be welcomed, often despite evidence proving otherwise.
In compiling this data, the researchers distinguished between women who had been only stalked and those who had been both stalked and sexually assaulted.
In such intimacy-based stalking, women represent approximately 75% of those who are stalked with men representing approximately 84% of those who engage in stalking behaviors (Purcell, Pathe, & Mullen, 2002).
The majority of women (40 percent; n = 16) stalked professionals with whom they had previously been in contact (including mental health workers, teachers and lawyers).
A 10-city, nationally representative study of female homicide victims conducted in 1999 indicated that 76% of female victims of intimate partner homicides were stalked by their partners before they were killed (4).
Of women who had been stalked, 42% were pursued by a stranger, 34% by an acquaintance, 33% by a partner and 5% by another family member.
1 million bail, based on evidence that he stalked neighbors, his ex-wife and her family, her lawyers, the company that evicted him and its lawyers.
The stalked crinoid spends most of its time sitting and catching food with the flowerlike wheel of feathery arms that have earned it and its relatives the nickname sea lilies.
Celebrity victims like singer Madonna and film director Steven Spielberg are just the tip of the iceberg, say experts, with some 900,000 adults in Britain stalked every year.
Despite high profile cases where obsessed fans have stalked stars such as Britney Spears and Gwyneth Paltrow, people in their 40s, especially professionals, are often the targets, said the study.
Using census data, researchers estimate that approximately 10 million Americans have been stalked at least once during their lives (Rowley, 1997).
Indeed, it was the explosion of media stories following an actual incident of stalking--an obsessed fan stalked and killed actress Rebecca Schaeffer--that was the primary catalyst for the first anti-stalking law in the United States.
In nearly nine out of 10 cases, or 89%, stalkers and the stalked knew each other.
In 1997, I stalked and shot a woodland caribou--a classic example of aggressiveness paying big dividends.