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. Can you guess what they actually mean? Click on the expressions to reveal the answers! Then watch the video to review.

[lit. He put his eyes on her.] He likes her.

[lit. From my eyes!] Used as a reply to a request and to make the person feel appreciated.

[lit. Your eye be honored!] Used as a reply to a request and to make the person feel appreciated.

[lit. He went down from my eye.] I lost my respect for him.

[lit. Disgrace the evil eye!] 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)

[lit. I ate an eye.] I was cursed with the evil eye.

[lit. He hit me an eye!] He cursed me with the evil eye.

[lit. Put your eye in my eye!] Be honest with me.

[lit. I saw it with my eyes!] I am sure of it .

[lit. He has an eye!] He is not ashamed.

[lit. Nobody fills his eye.] Nobody is good enough for him.

[lit. Oh, my eye!] Calling out to my eye to enjoy seeing something, it means ‘my eye likes what it sees.’ It conveys admiration.

[lit. Long live he who saw you!] Long time, no see! (Said to someone who has been absent for a long time and who we see after a long time.)

[lit. Where are you we are not seeing you?] Where have you been?

[lit. Let us see you from one time to the other.] Drop by from time to time.

[lit. Show us!] Often used to challenge someone.

[lit. Look! Look!] Expresses disapproval: I can’t believe my eyes!

[lit. Look, if you…!] Expresses a threat or a warning.

[lit. See, …] Used at the beginning of a statement to grab the listener’s attention. Equivalent to ‘Listen, …’ in English.


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