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The noun walleye has several meanings. It can refer to an eye with a whitish or bluish-white iris or to one with an opaque white cornea. It can also refer to a condition in which the eye turns outward away from the nose. The extended second sense of the adjective walleyed came from the appearance of eyes affected with the condition of walleye. You might guess that walleyed has an etymological connection with wall, but that's not the case. Rather, it is derived from wawil-eghed, a Middle English translation of the Old Norse word vagl-eygr, from vagl ("beam") and eygr ("eyed").
Origin and Etymology of walleyed
by folk etymology from Middle English wawil-eghed, partial translation of Old Norse vagl-eygr walleyed, from vagl beam (akin to Greek ochleus bar, Old English wegan to move, carry) + eygr eyed — more at way
First Known Use: 15th century
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