Wednesday, 5 September 2007

AAE Q93: 'bull's eye'

Hi Matt,

I read a book about S.Holmes where there was written:

...another of Dr. Watson´s bull´s eyes
The text was bilingual and in the Czech version it was translated like this:
another Dr. Watson´s inner
Is it really correct or what´s the precise meaning of the idiom 'bull´s eyes'.

Does it indicate the acumen or discernment of Dr. Watson?




From the information you have given me I would say that the Czech translation is literal and misses the meaning of the idiom.

A bull's eye is originally from target shooting and is either the score made by hitting the centre or the actual centre of the target itself (see below).

Figuratively a bull's eye is something that precisely succeeds in achieving its goal. For example a newspaper headline for a successful cancer treatment (or a cure) might be:
"New Cancer Treatment Hit's the Bull's Eye"

Using your example it means that Dr. Watson accomplished his goal precisely (again).

Hope this helps