Better than a stick in the eye <vs> A blessing in disguise

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  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    No, they aren't the same. Better than a stick in the eye (and there are numerous variations, including "a poke in the eye" and "a poke in the eye with a sharp stick") means something isn't ideal, but it could be worse. It is sometimes used jokingly to mean something is actually quite good.

    A blessing in disguise means "As bad as this appears, some good could come out of it."
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Our dictionary has a definition for a blessing in disguise that is consistent with JustKate's explanation:
    an apparent misfortune that eventually has good results.

    There is also a previous thread: a blessing in disguise

    You should also see this thread:
    A poke in the eye?

    If you say that something is 'better than a poke in the eye', you are saying that bad as it is, it could be worse. It is also used jokingly, as JustKate says.
    If you call it a 'blessing in disguise', you are saying that although it seems to be unfortunate, it is in fact beneficial.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    ^ Oh, I've heard that, too, Ewie. Both sound quite unpleasant, so take your pick.
    Ah good ~ not just me then:)

    I'd also add (for the sake of saying something on-topic) that for me there's a big difference in register between the two idioms: stick in the eye is very colloquial-informal; blessing in disguise is much more formal-'respectable':)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You might try doing a Google search for "better than a * in the eye" (enclosed in quotation marks). I used the wild-card '*', to allow for variations in the idiom. You will see examples of the expression in use. That may answer your question. If it doesn't, you can ask about one of the examples you see. (Be sure to include context and the source.)
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Stick in this context means "a thin piece of wood." A stick in the eye, therefore, would involve taking that stick and poking it into someone's eye, which would be extremely unpleasant. Saying something is better than a stick in the eye (or poke in the eye or one of the other alternatives) literally means that something may not be ideal, but it could be much, much worse because it could be as bad as having a stick poked in one's eye. That's the literal meaning. The phrase is more usually used to mean "not too bad" and sometimes it's used as a bit of understatement to mean "quite good."

    Edit: Posted simultaneously with Cagey.
     
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    Peter Tran

    Senior Member
    so it's coming to the only thing that 'Better than a stick in the eye' means not too bad, and not imply to something worse or better related to it. "A blessing in disguise" means at first I saw it was not good for me but later I realise that I am in luck to get another one better than that?
     
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    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    so it's coming to the only thing that 'Better than a stick in the eye' means not too bad, and not imply to something worse or better related to it. "A blessing in disguise" means at first i saw it was not good for you but later I realise that you are in luck to get another one better than that?
    Please note that u is not a word ~ it's just a letter:mad:
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I'm not sure because I'm not sure what you mean by "I am in luck to get one better than that." Let me break your sentence into parts.

    "At first I saw" (though "thought" would be better) "it was not good for me" :tick: Yes, that's right.
    "but later I realize" :tick: Yes, this is also correct.
    "I am in luck to get one better than that." :cross: I don't think so. Let me restate it: "that what I thought was a negative turned out to be positive." Blessing can be used figuratively here to indicate a general good, but it can be used literally to mean "a blessing from God."
     
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