Her eyes are normal without any defects. But, she tried to roll her eyes' pupils into either the left or right corners of the eyes on purpose as showed in the picture.

enter image description here

Do we say "she is squinting her eyes"?

4 Answers 4


No, she is intentionally "crossing her eyes" or "looking cross-eyed". The boy is rolling his eyes upward.

  • 5
    Is that even physically possible? It's certainly so unusual that there isn't an ordinary word for it; I would describe it as 'his eyes looking in different directions'. Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 8:39
  • 7
    @Tom: That second picture is "walleyed."
    – JRE
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 13:31
  • 1
    Colloquially, I'd say it's most common, when referring to the boy, to just say he's "rolling his eyes". "Upward" is assumed.
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 14:16
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    There's another related word "cockeyed". I don't know if other English speakers use it, but it's common here in the UK to describe someone who has one or both eyes out of alignment, not necessarily the same as being cross-eyed.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 15:28
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    @gonefishin'again. The picture of a wall-eyed person is not the boy next to the girl in the above picture. If you follow Tom's second link in the first comment, it shows a person who is definitely wall-eyed. Just to describe it in words, wall-eyed means that both eyes are looking away from the nose. Towards the walls, in fact. Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 3:48

In addition to Jack's answer: apparently "squint" in medical terms does indeed mean a medical condition where someone's eyes look like that all the time, but I don't think that's very common in ordinary English.

"Squinting" is usually the act of narrowing your eyes, for example when you are trying to read something with tiny writing enter image description here

or because you're a cowboy, looking tough and intimidating. Or maybe it's just very bright. enter image description here

Anyway, even then we wouldn't really say that these people are "squinting their eyes", we'd just say "they're squinting". It would be a bit like saying "smiling their mouth" (which is not correct).

  • Edited because I can actually remembering reading someone "has a squint" to mean they had some defect with their eyes. Honestly, I've never known what that exactly meant until I looked it up. Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 22:00
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    Thank you. "smiling their mouth" is an example to demonstrate the way we would not speak like that, right?
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 0:29
  • Yes. Good point. It's obvious to a native speaker, but not obvious to someone learning English, which is the purpose of answering... Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 0:20


British slang term for being Cross-Eyed.

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    Never seen the term but on the page which you linked to it says Boss-Eyed, said of a person with one eye, or rather with one eye injured, a person with an obliquity of vision. Not exactly the same as being cross-eyed.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:08
  • @Mari-LouA The link certainly doesn't back up the claim, but the term is correct. The episode Calendar Geeks of the IT Crowd did a big thing on it. Here's a clip from YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=EHLbwwqCY9o
    – Mou某
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 19:27
  • FWIW, I (English) have always used ‘cross-eyed’. I've heard ‘boss-eyed’, but always assumed it was a mistake.
    – gidds
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 19:47
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    I grew up in the North of England. From an early age, I was diagnosed with strabismus. I got called "boss-eyed" on numerous occasions by my less charitable peers.
    – Dancrumb
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 20:12
  • "Boss-eyed" is the immediate term which came to mind upon reading the question. I had no idea it was slang: I thought it was the international correct term. I never knew other people wouldn't understand it. Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 9:37

"crossing your eyes" sounds most fluent to me.

I've never heard "looking cross-eyed" before, but I can tell what it means.

"rolling your eyes" means to look upward, not toward the nose.

"squinting" just means closing your eyes a little bit while looking at something. It is body language that people make when trying to read something small.

  • Squinting is not mere "body language." The squint actually helps you to see better - and, of course, it reduces the painfully bright glare of the sun on a hot, clear day.
    – JRE
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 10:24

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