Day 762: Sights for sore eyes

From Cambridge Dictionaries Online:

a sight for sore eyes
a way of saying that you are very pleased to see someone or that you think someone is very attractive:
“You’re a sight for sore eyes!”
Translations of “a sight for sore eyes”
in Chinese (Traditional) 樂於看到的人, 極有吸引力的人…
(Definition of a sight for sore eyes from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

From Urban Dictionary:

sight for sore eyes
A sight for sore eyes translates into “the sight of you makes my eyes all better”, and means that you like looking at that sight.
“Woah, that babe over there is a sight for sore eyes.”
by Samantha Esposito March 31, 2007

From The Free Dictionary:

sight for sore eyes
Fig. a welcome sight. “Oh, am I glad to see you here! You’re a sight for sore eyes.” “I’m sure hungry. This meal is a sight for sore eyes.”
See also: eye, sight, sore


A sight for sore eyes

A welcome sight; someone or something you are glad to see.


This phrase was first recorded by Jonathan Swift, in A complete collection of genteel and ingenious conversation, 1738:

“The Sight of you is good for sore Eyes.”

The title of the work suggests that it was in use prior to his writing it down. The currently used version of the phrase was first recorded by William Hazlitt, in New Monthly Magazine, 1826:

“Garrick’s name was proposed on condition he should act in tragedy and comedy… What a sight for sore eyes that would be!”

That’s all pretty straightforward. The rise of the World Wide Web has given this phrase a new lease of life. ‘Sight’, ‘site’ and ‘cite’ form one of the small number of three-word homophone groups, that is, words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Another three-word example is ‘you’, ‘yew’ and ‘ewe’.

A quick scan of the Web courtesy of Google (Feb 2012) shows these hits:

“sight for sore eyes” – 1,550,000
“site for sore eyes” – 681,000
“cite for sore eyes” – 88,700

Top of the list for the latter two are web sites selling optical supplies and literary citations respectively, so they have some excuse. Many of the others are just mis-spellings.

My eyes tell me that I’ve cited enough definitions of “Sight for Sore Eyes” from other sites. I shall now cite my own swift definition, in this here site:

Sights for sore eyes

Images that gladden the heart, mind, and soul, particularly precious after experiences of pain, illness, or other negative experiences.

Yesterday, after I published this flu-ish post, my fever went up and my eyes, muscles, appetite, and mind felt sore. Very sore.

Throughout the last 24 hours, encouraging comments here at WordPress (and other sites, like Facebook) have been sights for my sore eyes.

I shall now cite three recently seen sights for sore eyes, from this Boston USA site:

IMG_5098 IMG_5099IMG_5096

To celebrate my being “normal” (at least temporarily), here are some sounds for sore ears:

(Mozart’s “The Magic Flute Overture” is here at this YouTube site.)

To conclude these sights for sore eyes, many thanks to all the sites I cited above, to Mozart and other creators of sounds for sore ears, and to all those who have given me sights for sore eyes — including you (of course!) for seeing this site, today.

Categories: definition, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “Day 762: Sights for sore eyes

  1. Your post is always a sight for my sore eyes.
    Glad you’re better. And I like your definition the best. Any sight for sore eyes has to include the soul.

  2. You’re very witty. Your posts make me smile. Hope you aren’t feeling ‘flu-ish’ much ‘longer-ish!’

  3. 98.6 is a sight for sore eyes. I hope you’re on the mend, Ann. Looks like the cat has his eyes on you. (Or your soup?)

  4. Glad you’re feeling better Ann, your words confirming that were a sight for sore eyes! ❤
    Diana xo

  5. Good news. I guess you didn’t that chicken soup after all.

  6. I’m glad the temp is down, inside you — I’m hoping the temp outside is going up and melting all the snow!

    Your words and photos are always a sight for sore eyes, and your music suggestions sounds for sore ears! 🙂

    • More snow on the way tomorrow, Louise. And the temp outside is too cold, for me.

      Thank you for your healing words, as always.

  7. I think your post is the sight for sore mind 🙂

  8. Very clever!

  9. I don’t, I confess, always listen to your musical clips. But I leapt into this my ears and eyes made very well by the music and Levine’s happy conversations with his orchestra – and Hockney visuals for extras.

  10. Ann, I hope you are feeling better now. I am listening to the music clip you left for us and I LOVE it. My family lately for me, whom I have not seen since 2009, were sights for sore eyes. Tears spring to these very eyes between the music and the memory of what my sore eyes did see. I really thank you for coming by Petals today. I Hope my waterfalls somehow helped heal your soreness … perhaps you fell into the “blue”? Great post! It saddens me that I am not here more often, my friend. So many now reach out to me … if you saw the notifications I answer some days, you would end up with sore eyes. (smile) I do. Stay well, BE Blessed, and know you are truly special to me. Love, and (((HUGS))) Amy

  11. This post is a sight for sore eyes. 👀. It’s a prayer answered to see your temp down and your spirits up. 🙂

  12. For my great friend Ann’s site at 98.6:

  13. 樂於看到的人, 極有吸引力的人…that is great, and a great sight to see no fever and also to have a little Mozart this morning. Cheers to you!

  14. – a site for sore eyes haha. Get well soon 🙂

  15. I wonder do blind people say someone is a sight for sore eyes……………

  16. Glad you’re on the mend, Ann. Enjoy this snow!

    • Lori, Donna & Diablo: You are all sights for sore eyes! Thank you for your positive spin on snow and for this visit to my blog.

  17. kellie@writingmoment

    Your definition is the best (in my opinion anyway!).

  18. Pingback: Day 763: And many more | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  19. So glad your temp is being itself again. You are a sight for sore eyes Ann! How is Penny’s eye by the way?….

  20. Pingback: Day 767: Obvious | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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