Dodgy body parts: a dodgy eye, a dodgy knee

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Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
I can’t remember his name – he is the one with the dodgy eye.

What connotations does dodgy eye convey please?

Is it a kind of a name which one can use in any company? Does it imply an artificial eyeball?

Thanks in advance,
Tom
 
  • Sallyb36

    Senior Member
    British UK
    it could be just a tick or a nervous twitch, or a deformed or false eye. It just means that there is something wrong with it. It could also mean he has terrible taste, can't tell when something is of good quality for example.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A dodgy eye suggests to me an eye that is not normal.
    There could be many reasons for describing it in this way.

    Dodgy is colloquial, but in this context means nothing more than strange.
    In any context where you would be content to say "He is the one with the strange eye," you could say "... dodgy eye," instead.
     

    xarruc

    Senior Member
    England
    Or dodgy meaning faulty - IE an eye that doesn't see too good.

    To describe it as dodgy trivialises, to some extent, the deformation/ peculiarity/ blindness.

    "Deformed eye" conjures up the image of a monstrosity. "Dodgy eye" conjures up the image of someone with a slight but noticable oddity.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Thanks. :)

    So the expression doesn't have any negative overtones, does it?


    Tom
     

    Roddyboy55

    Senior Member
    England, English UK
    It could be that the speaker is unable to identfy the particular defect in the eye (squint, stigma or perhaps a cateract) and use the term "dodgy" rather than find a more accurate word to describe it.

    It may also be that he (the one with the dodgy eye) is part of a large group of individuals and that the easiest way to identify him amongst the group is by his "dodgy eye".

    Anything could be "dodgy", eyes, legs, chairs, cars, even politicians.

    Hope this makes things clearer.

    The word is not always derogatory, but the context should tell you.

    Rod (the dodgy one!)
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    It could be that the speaker is unable to identfy the particular defect in the eye (squint, stigma or perhaps a cateract) and use the term "dodgy" rather than find a more accurate word to describe it.

    It may also be that he (the one with the dodgy eye) is part of a large group of individuals and that the easiest way to identify him amongst the group is by his "dodgy eye".

    Anything could be "dodgy", eyes, legs, chairs, cars, even politicians.

    Hope this makes things clearer.

    The word is not always derogatory, but the context should tell you.

    Rod (the dodgy one!)
    Yes, your answer is very useful, thanks. :)
    So, the one who wrote this sentence could simply identify the guy by his eye defect with no mean remark whatsoever.


    I have some additional questions.

    Could I rephrase the sentence in the following way:
    I can’t remember his name – he is the one with an eye's defect.
    If so is it exactly the same in reception? I mean probably dodgy eye is more informal, but I'd like to know if there would be any difference in, say, emotional undertone (both are urged in writing and the author isn't being sarcastic).

    And just to pinpoint the meaning of dodgy it implies that there's something worng with the object to which it is applied, but we are not able to nail down what exactly it is, am I right?


    Tom
     

    Roddyboy55

    Senior Member
    England, English UK
    "I can’t remember his name – he is the one with the dodgy eye."

    It is possible and probable that the reference to the "dodgy" eye was only made as an aid to identifying the man, perhaps to others in the conversation -the others may even know the man quite well.

    You could say "a defective eye" (although not "eye's defect")

    The choice of word would probably reflect the speaker's politeness rather that anything else because "dodgy" is very informal (though not really slang in BE).

    The term "dodgy" may well be used as a generalisation for something mysterious and defective too. It is just as likey that the word "dodgy" would be used to describe a known problem with something.

    The engine's a bit dodgy, it keeps overheating.
    The curry is very dodgy in that restaurant.
    That chair is a bit dodgy, the leg isn't very well repaired.
    The bloke (very BE for "man") is dodgy, he sold drugs to the local vicar.

    Dodgy means defective, but the speaker might not want to specify the defect, because he is too lazy, too stupid to inarticulate.

    Ask me anything else if I can help you.

    Rod
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Defective eye and dodgy eye would be understood to mean the same but I have never heard 'defective eye' as a general description. A dodgy eye could mean anything out of the ordinary and may not mean defective at all.
    A black eye is dodgy but not defective.
    A wall eye is dodgy but works perfectly well.
    A temporary injury will render an eye 'dodgy'.
    Dodgy eye and big nose are descriptives but not necessarily judgemental.

    .,,
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    "I can’t remember his name – he is the one with the dodgy eye."

    It is possible and probable that the reference to the "dodgy" eye was only made as an aid to identifying the man, perhaps to others in the conversation -the others may even know the man quite well.

    You could say "a defective eye" (although not "eye's defect")

    [...]
    Ask me anything else if I can help you.

    Rod
    Thank you for the correction, Rod. I find that very valuable. :)

    I have one more question related to it: why eye's defect is wrong here? Is it totally wrong or could it be used in other contexts? What's the meaing of my sentence with it?
    Actually these are three questions, but I allowed myself to indulge a little. :D

    Defective eye and dodgy eye would be understood to mean the same but I have never heard 'defective eye' as a general description. A dodgy eye could mean anything out of the ordinary and may not mean defective at all.
    A black eye is dodgy but not defective.
    A wall eye is dodgy but works perfectly well.
    A temporary injury will render an eye 'dodgy'.
    Dodgy eye and big nose are descriptives but not necessarily judgemental.

    .,,
    Robert, your last sentence sweeps away my doubts.:thumbsup:
    Anyway, your examples spurred another questions. :D
    Isn't a walleye a defect in which eyes aren't aligned properly?
    I gather from what you wrote that dodgy gives the impression that there's something wrong with the described object, "there can be various kinds of "wrongness".


    Tom
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Isn't a walleye a defect in which eyes aren't aligned properly?
    The 'defect' is only cosmetic and means nothing as the vision is not negatively affected. People with protruding or bulging eyes actually have better peripheral vision which can be acutely advantageous. A person with a wall eye has a similar advantage. Many people with wall eyes also have bulging eyes. It is also possible that such people have more acute night vision as their eyes are not shaded by their face.
    It could be a significant advantage in combat as it would be difficult for the opponent to predict body movement form cues given by eye movement.

    .,,
     

    Roddyboy55

    Senior Member
    England, English UK
    "he is the one with an eye's defect" is wrong, possibly because the word eye's is used incorrectly? Although the defect is posessed by the eye, it would not normally be written in that way.

    Much better would be:-
    "He is the one with an eye defect", would have been more correct and quite polite, certainly more polite than dodgy.
    Although you will know that in most countries it is obviously regarded as very rude and impolite to highlight other peoples defects.

    Rod

    P.S. I do like the very graphic "wall eye" description, marvelous!
     

    WritingAPuppy

    Senior Member
    canada mandarin
    Hi. What's a "dodgy knee"? Does it refer to an injured knee? Also, is this a Canadian usage? I heard it from an Irish person, not sure if it's a regional thing.



    Thanks
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    I don't think it's a regional thing.

    A dodgy knee is one that does not perform adequately.

    It does not have to be due to a current injury, it could be from a past one. In fact, it might not be from an injury at all, eg. arthritis.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    In the U.S. you would often hear "trick knee" or "bum knee" rather than "dodgy knee." It means the same thing, though: a knee that doesn't work properly due to injury, disease, or even birth defect.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I use dodgy all the time and all over the place, not just for knees and other defective body parts.
    He looked decidedly dodgy to me [= there was something dishonest looking about him]
    Lynda used a really dodgy word in that sentence [= a word that just didn't sound/look right]
    There are some really dodgy shows on the TV nowadays [= shows of poor quality or in poor taste]

    In fact, I probably over-use it:D
     

    out2lnch

    Senior Member
    English-Canada
    I agree with Dimcl, this is not normally heard here, although I really like the word. You normally hear the same expressions as JamesM said above.

    As for using 'dodgy' in other contexts, like those ewie gave above, you'll also hear 'sketchy'. Same meaning as 'dodgy'. First time I heard the word used (at least the first time I was aware of it) was from a British post-doc in my lab, and I've liked the fact that it is another word that can have a whole bunch of meanings, depending on how it's used.

    To answer an implied(?) question though: people will know what you mean, but you won't necessarily hear them use it.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The thing about dodgy is that it suggests an element of unreliability or unpredictability, especially with regard to joints.
    A dodgy knee could perform perfectly well for the first two hundred and thirty four stairs up the Eifel Tower but let you down, catastrophically and without warning, on the two-hundred-and-thirty-fifth.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The thing about dodgy is that it suggests an element of unreliability or unpredictability, especially with regard to joints.
    A dodgy knee could perform perfectly well for the first two hundred and thirty four stairs up the Eifel Tower but let you down, catastrophically and without warning, on the two-hundred-and-thirty-fifth.
    Yes, this is what "trick knee" means here. A "bum knee" is pretty consistently a poor performer but a "trick knee" is one that can give out withut warning.
     
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