The Washington Post (October 31) carried GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s remarks on allegations of his sexual harassement of two former female employees as head of the National Restaurant Association in its “Today’s Quote of The Day.”
In denying the allegations of harassment as “totally baseless and totally false,” he said:
"This bull’s-eye on my back has gotten bigger. We have no idea the source of this witch hunt, which is really what it is."
I had a hiccup in interpreting the implication of Herman Cain’s “bull’s-eye. Doesn’t “bull's-eye” give, or have a risk to give an impression as if the allegation is on the mark, that is true?
Readers Plus (Japanese publisher’s) English Japanese Dictionary at hand defines “bull’s eye” as:
- n. Center of the mark, crux, decisive one.
- int. That’s right. Exactly.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines is as:
- The center of the target, also central or crucial.
Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:
The circular center of the object aimed at in games such as darts, or shot that hits this.
All of the above definitions tempt me to interpret “bull’s-eye” as the shot that hits right, or correctly, thus, the allegation is on the mark, exact, and true, which though the candidate should never intend to say.
Therefore it comes back to the captioned question - Does “bull’s-eye” simply mean a hole made by a bullet (or an arrow), without the notion of rightly hit (answer, remark, allegation)?