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Keep an Eye Out: Origin and Meaning

To watch for something or someone (often when you are doing something else).
keep an eye outThis idiom originated from people using telescopes. Many years ago, when ships were one of the most common modes of transport, sailors used telescopes to watch for land or approaching disasters (e.g. icebergs). As they could only use one eye to look through the telescope, people started to use the phrase “keep an eye out”.
“My mum said she’s nearly here. Can you keep an eye out for her while I order the coffees?”

Mary: “Sue! Did you hear what I said?”
Sue: “Sorry, I’m listening to you but buses aren’t very regular on Sundays so I’m keeping an eye out for one at the same time.”

“According to the map, the restaurant is on this street so please keep an eye out for it.”

Peter: “Did you speak to Donna last night?”
David: “Yeah. She said she’s probably going to the party tomorrow.”
Peter: “Great, I’ll keep an eye out for her.”
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