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Smokey vs. smoky

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  • Smokey is a proper noun and first name, whereas smoky is an adjective referring to an object being filled with or smelling of smoke.

    Until recently smokey was an accepted spelling of smoky in the Oxford English Dictionary. However, it is now thought of as old-fashioned.

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    Comments

    1. Adam Jagosz says:

      My first encounter with this word was the phrase ‘smokey eyes’ (make-up). I didn’t realize it could be also written as ‘smoky’ in this meaning, which looks a bit awkward to me. What do you think?

      • I totally agree with you!

        • Adam Jagosz says:

          I’m not a native speaker and I don’t really have much contact with live English, but I’d guess “I’ve got smoky eyes” would mean you’ve got some stinging smoke there… Ok I’m kidding:) On the other hand, let’s check how Google translate sees it:

          (1) I’ve got smoky eyes –Polish–> Mam smoky eyes
          (2) I’ve got smokey eyes –Polish–> Mam smokey oczy

          Translation 1 is correct — in Polish we use this phrase as it is in English, but at the same time Google suggest changing smoky for smokey; but translation 2 goes too far. Well, I know this isn’t a good source of knowledge or anything but I think it still suggests that there is common usage of the spelling ‘smoky eyes’.

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