Expressions with the Eyes in Levantine Arabic

Eyes are very significant in Lebanese culture, and Arab culture in general. It’s no surprise then that Levantine Arabic has many expressions and idioms using the word عيْن (eye), عْيون (eyes), and other words related to ‘seeing.’
Would you understand if someone said ‘Oh, my eye!’ or ‘His eye is empty,’ or ‘She went down from my eye’?
Below we have thirty common expressions with their literal translations. Can you guess what they actually mean? Click on the expressions to reveal the answers! Then watch the video to review.
Literal TranslationArabicAudioMeaning
He put his eyes on her.حطّ عينو عليها
He likes her.
Keep your eye on him.خلّي عينك عليه
Don't take your eyes off him. Watch him and make sure he is safe.
Keep your eye 10/10.خلّي عينيك عشرة عشرة
Stay on your guard. Watch closely.
His eye is white.عَيْنو بَيْضا
He is a womanizer.
His eye is to outside.عَيْنو لبرّا
He is thinking of cheating on his partner.
His eye is deviated.عَيْنو زايْغة
He is a womanizer.
His eye is tight.عَيْنو ضَيْقة
He is greedy.
His eye is empty.عَيْنو فارْغة
He is envious.
His eye is strong.عَيْنو قَوِيّة
Refers to a person who is envious and casts evil eyes unconsciously.
Oh, my eye on you!يا عَيْني عليْك
You did great! My eye is under a spell! This expression conveys sarcasm and means the opposite of “You did great!"
My eye, your eye!عَيْني عَيْنك
without any shame, shamelessly (Example: عمل هَيْدا الشّي عَيْني عَيْنك - He shamelessly did it.)
He gave me the red eye.عَطاني العيْن الحمْرا
He threatened me.
From my eyes!مِن عْيوني
Used as a reply to a request and to make the person feel appreciated.
Your eye be honored!تِكْرم عَيْنك
Used as a reply to a request and to make the person feel appreciated.
He went down from my eye.نِزِل مِن عَيْني
I lost my respect for him.
Disgrace the evil eye!يِخْزي العيْن
Arabs believe that if someone sees something/someone beautiful and doesn’t say this expression, they will cast an evil envious eye, which might cause misfortune or injury. Therefore, this expression often directly follows a compliment. (Example: !انتي حلوة، يخزي العين)
I ate an eye.أكلِت عيْن
I was cursed with the evil eye.
He hit me an eye!طرقْني عيْن
He cursed me with the evil eye.
Put your eye in my eye!حُطّ عَيْنك بْعَيْني
Be honest with me.
I saw it with my eyes!شِفْتو بْعَيْنَيّي
I am sure of it .
He has an eye!إِلوعيْن
He is not ashamed.
Nobody fills his eye.ما حدا مْعبّي عَيْنو
Nobody is good enough for him.
Oh, my eye!يا عيني
Calling out to my eye to enjoy seeing something, it means 'my eye likes what it sees.' It conveys admiration.
Long live he who saw you!عاش مين شافك
Long time, no see! (Said to someone who has been absent for a long time and who we see after a long time.)
Where are you we are not seeing you?وينك مش عم نشوفك؟
Where have you been?
Let us see you from one time to the other.خلّينا نشوفك من وقت ل التاني
Drop by from time to time.
Show us!فرْجينا
Often used to challenge someone.
Look! Look!ليْك ليْك
Expresses disapproval: I can't believe my eyes!
Look, if you...!ليْك، إِذا...
Expresses a threat or a warning.
See, …شوف...
Used at the beginning of a statement to grab the listener’s attention. Equivalent to 'Listen, ...' in English.

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