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Old 11-15-2009, 04:46 PM
Neverender Neverender is offline
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Origin of the term 'mouse' to describe injury to face/eye?

Watching UFC (and maybe boxing too, I don't as I don't watch boxing), you often hear it mentioned when a fighter gets a punch to the face and subsequent swelling under his eye that 'he's got a mouse under his eye', for example. Where does the use of the word 'mouse' to describe this injury come from?

Last edited by Neverender; 11-15-2009 at 04:47 PM.
Old 11-15-2009, 04:59 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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It, of course, derives from the animal. The OED has a first cite of 1842:
Originally Posted by OED
842 Spirit of Times 17 Sept. 346/2 Giving him the upper cut as he sank, and raising a ‘mouse’ on his left cheek with the blow.
It's not clear how the word developed the meaning, though this definition is interesting:
Originally Posted by OED
4. Naut. (a) A small collar, usually of spun yarn, round a rope or wire, esp. for holding an eye, etc., in place; (b) a mark fixed on a rope to indicate when it has reached a required position; (c) a mousing of spun yarn, etc., for a hook (see MOUSING n. 2b) (rare).
It's possible that the swelling was considered similar to the rope around the nautical eye. First cite predates (it's from 1750) that of an injury.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 11-15-2009 at 04:59 PM.
Old 11-15-2009, 07:05 PM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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I was taught in Latin class that the term in latin for Mouse is "mus" and that's been used a reasoning for the derivation of the term "muscles" as basically being the "little mice" that run under your arms.

So mice and the human body have been used together for a while for sure. Just another interesting linkage of the two.
Old 11-15-2009, 10:35 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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Because it looks like a mouse? A small, roundish, dark swelling?
Old 11-16-2009, 12:39 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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You can hear the term a lot in old time radio (OTR). You usually have a joke along the lines like "Wow that rat really gave you a mouse."
Old 11-23-2009, 01:42 PM
Neverender Neverender is offline
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Originally Posted by commasense View Post
Because it looks like a mouse?
Looks more like a slug to me.

Thanks for the replies folks.


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