Hairy eyeball


      • Intimidate or threaten someone
        To give someone a fierce, menacing look or stare in order to convey hostility or aggression

      • Suggest suspicion or disapproval
        To give someone a skeptical or disapproving look, often accompanied by crossed arms or a frown, to convey doubt or disapproval of their actions or words

    Examples of Hairy eyeball

    • The salesperson gave the customer a hairy eyeball when he asked for a discount.

      To give someone a hairy eyeball is to give them a suspicious or disapproving glance, implying that the person being looked at is being scrutinized and potentially judged. In this example, the salesperson's glance expressed disapproval when the customer asked for a discount.

    • I received a hairy eyeball from my boss when I suggested taking an extended break from work.

      Here, the boss gave the speaker a suspicious or disapproving glance in response to their suggestion for an extended break from work.

    • The coach gave the team a hairy eyeball during the game, as if scolding them for not playing well.

      In this example, the coach's glance expressed disapproval or criticism of the team's performance during the game.

    • The politician gave the journalist a hairy eyeball during a tense interview, making the journalist uncomfortable.

      In this case, the politician's gaze was intense and suspicious, making the journalist feel uneasy or judged during the interview.

    • The business tycoon gave a hairy eyeball to the junior executive's presentation, implying a strong disapproval.

      The phrase "hairy eyeball" is used figuratively to describe a suspicious or disapproving glance given by someone. In this example, the senior executive's skeptical look towards the junior executive's presentation conveys a strong disapproval, suggesting that the presentation was inferior and unconvincing. In reality, the senior executive might not have actually given an unsavory look, but the use of this idiom adds a certain level of dramatic effect to the situation.


    The idiom "hairy eyeball" is used in two main ways: to intimidate or threaten someone, and to suggest suspicion or disapproval. In the first context, it is meant to convey a sense of aggression or hostility, while in the second context, it conveys doubt or disapproval.

    Origin of "Hairy eyeball"

    The origin of this idiom is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the mid-20th century. It may have come from an earlier expression "give someone the hairy eyeball," which was used to describe giving a look of suspicion or disapproval. The use of the word "hairy" in this context likely refers to the idea of bristling or raising one's eyebrows in a threatening or aggressive manner.

    Another theory suggests that the phrase may have originated from the idea of a person's hair standing on end when feeling fear or intimidation. This could explain the use of the word "hairy" to describe a threatening or intimidating look.

    Regardless of its exact origin, the idiom "hairy eyeball" has become a commonly used phrase to describe an intense or disapproving stare, and it is often used in a humorous or lighthearted manner.