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From the Greek ops (the eye). Considered unlucky for the same reason that peacocksʹ feathers in a house are said to be unlucky. A peacock’s feather, being full of eyes, act as spies in a house, prying into one’s privacy. Similarly, it is unlucky to introduce the eye-stone or opal into a house, because it will interfere with the sanctity of domestic privacy. (See Ceraunium).

Not an opal

Wrapped in a bay-leaf in my left fist,

To charm their eyes with.”

Ben Jonson: New Inn, i. 6.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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One - horse Universities
One Step from the Sublime to the Ridiculous
One too Many for Him (I was)
One Touch of Nature Makes the whole World Kin
Onion Pennies
Only (The)
Onus (Latin)
Onus Probandi
Opal of Alphonso XII. (of Spain)
Open Air Mission
Open Question (An)
Open Secret (An)
Open, Sesamë
Open the Ball (To)
Opium-eater (The English)
Oppidan of Eton

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