How do you catch my eye in your language?
August 27, 2010 2:05 PM Subscribe
Calling non-English speakers: what are the equivalent phrases in other languages for "catching someone's eye" or "making eye contact"?
posted by snarfois to writing & language (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was just musing on the really quite mysterious phenomenon of making eye contact: the instantaneous mutual realisation of two people that they are looking at each other. Both parties know the other party knows they are looking at them. It works with a 3 month old baby (can't fool them by looking in their general direction, but reading a book), it works between humans and animals.
So I was wondering about the many expressions that must exist for this phenomenon in various languages. To "catch someone's eye" is whimsical enough, when you think of it. In the only other language I know, Afrikaans, it's unfortunately the same ("vang iemand se oog"), but I'm pretty sure completely different expressions must exist in other languages. Or perhaps this expression is universal: that would be interesting in itself.
I'm particularly interested in the literal English meaning of figurative expressions.