1) Someone/thing beautiful - the beauty would sooth sore eyes.
2) Someone/thing ugly - the ugliness would give you sore eyes.
Can anyone tell me if one of these is right, or is this a 'potayto/potahto' thing?
The first one is correct.
The first one is the correct meaning.
The first one is correct. I've never, ever heard the second, whoever said it made a mistake.
When someone says YOu are a sight for sore eyes they mean aren't you just beautiful- they missed looking at your beauty so much. They have missed them so much and possibly have cried and gotten sore eyes.
It's neither actually!
It's when something turns up or comes along when you need it badly - something you are happy to see.
e.g: An empty taxi is sight for sore eyes when it's pouring rain and you're trying to carry two heavy bags of shopping.
The first I suppose but everyone I know uses it sarcastically when taking about a horrible sight.
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