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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 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.