Side eye (or sidelong glance) is a facial expression that usually conveys feelings of doubt, scorn, suspicion, shockedness or concealed interest.
It can be used to implicitly express one’s scruple regarding another person’s behavior by turning the head sideways and looking from the corner of the eyes, usually with lifted eyebrows.
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The first written instant of the term is from a journal that was published in 1797.Side eye was used mostly in literature until the end of the 20th century.
Following that, it became an expression that is part of public speech and pop-culture.
Spread and Usage
Back in his time, William Shakespeare defined the phenomenon of side eye as a form of askance.
Charles Dickens also used the term in his book David Copperfield which was published in 1850.
On the internet, side eye was popularized by reaction memes such as monkey puppet or various Michelle Obama image macros, but perhaps the most well-known example for a side eye meme is side eyeing Chloe.
- Mercurynews.com – Disneyland meme of viral ‘Side Eyeing Chloe’ sells for $75,000
- Urban Dictionary – Side Eye
- Merriam-Webster.com – side-eye