Have you ever thought about the origin of some of the slang words you heard as a child? As a youngster living in Sapele, Delta State in Nigeria’s Mid-Western region, I often heard the word “Bad Eye”. Imagine my shock when I recently found out its origin is African-American!
Context of Using Bad-Eye
You have probably heard two people joking, and “the next thing you would hear is “If I give you ‘Bad-Eye’…”
Or you could hear a child telling their mother or father, “Sam was looking at me with ‘Bad-Eye’”.
We really didn’t connote any meaning to the phrase “Bad-Eye” as children, but you would know you are getting that look when you see the eyelids flick upward and downwards repeatedly.
In the Nigerian setting, getting a bad-eye is more like getting the stink eye or what some would refer to as the nasty look or the hateful glance. If someone wants to give you a “bad-eye” they just want to show that they are not pleased with something you have said or done.
So the next time you’re threatened with a “bad-eye”, you’d better straighten up and fly right.