Stink eye (also known as dirty look or evil eye) is a facial expression that usually conveys feelings of suspicion.
It can be used to implicitly express hostility towards someone by giving them a long, strong glance with merged eyebrows.
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The concept of stink eye is supposed to have inherited its roots from Hawaiian origins, where it was probably used as a slang expression in local lingo.
The term was introduced to western English-speakers everyday language from the 1960s, mostly in the U.S, and particularly in New Bedford.
Spread and Usage
From the 1960s, stink eye spread mostly as slang, but it was occasionally featured in literature as well.
On the internet, the phrase saw a mild spread in the form of animal advice memes and image macros. It was a popular template from 2015 until 2019. These memes mostly circulated on sites like Imgflip, Me.me and Pinterest.
The definition for stink eye was submitted to Urban Dictionary in 2003.
- Merriam-Webster.com – stink eye