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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

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!
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 ?
Some have lost jobs, had to move house, or feel unable to go out socially as a result of being stalked.
More than TWO MILLION people in England and Wales are stalked every year, the British Crime Survey reveals.
Of the 230 subjects, 51% had stalked an ex-partner, 33% had stalked an acquaintance, and 16% had stalked a stranger.
I used to be head of the Homicide Prevention Unit at New Scotland Yard and reviewed the murder of Clare Bernal who was stalked and murdered.
66% of female stalking victims are stalked by a current or former intimate partner
7 percent of women report being stalked by the age of 45.
Nationally around one in five women and one in 10 men will be stalked at some point in their lives.
The law is designed to provide a civil remedy for those being stalked.
Highlights from the report revealed that about half (46 percent) of stalking victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week, and 11 percent of victims said that they had been stalked for 5 years or more.
Most of this research has shown that males form a significant proportion of those who are stalked by a former-intimate partner, and in more recent years, some studies have found that former-intimate stalking, like "domestic violence," is gender neutral or gender-inclusive.
Being stalked is one of a woman's worst nightmares and I lived in intense fear for over two years.
Chris said: "The joy of the job is taking someone out who has never stalked before, letting them see deer in the wild for the first time and then seeing the satisfaction of their first kill.
The authors interviewed 62 women who have been stalked by violent partners, many of them for years, to describe their daily lives and the critical cultural and community factors that could alleviate or prevent the incidence of stalking.
The results of a random-digit-dial telephone survey of more than 9,600 adults show that about 10 million adults in the United States report having been stalked at some point in their lifetime.
Home Office statistics showed that 9% - one in 11 - of both women and men had been stalked in the previous 12 months.