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It is the part of the book I was reading:

Mr. Dawes, the friendly young man from the local real estate office, stopped near the front walk and turned around.

"Everything okay?" he asked, staring first at Josh, then at me, with his crinkly blue eyes.

But I don't understand the meaning of "crinkly eyes" . When we say someone's eyes are crinkly?

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  • 3
    Did you look up the meaning of crinkly?
    – stangdon
    May 26 at 16:11
  • 1
    ...or do a basic image search? A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
    – randomhead
    May 26 at 16:13
  • @stangdon "used to say something is covered in many small lines and folds" I don't understand how it can be relevant to eyes.
    – Soheil
    May 26 at 16:13
  • 1
    Think of crinkled or crinkly paper, and then imagine those crinkles, or little lines, around the eyes.
    – Lambie
    May 26 at 16:41
  • "Crinkly eyes" is a form of descriptive writing, this ability with writing or prose to evoke in the reader what was seen, felt, tested, smelled, or heard. Eyes don't crinkle. They're a fluid filled ball. A writer is given great latitude to use descriptive writing to help you envision a synonym of crinkle [babbled, gurgled, murmured, sighed; whispered] Ref Merriam-Webster dict. - in one way: as if a person just got up/eyes full of crud. Other, in context: as posts herein. Squinty, kind of wrinkly eyelids. You may have to return to the original text to put descriptive writing in context.
    – Steve B053
    May 27 at 1:17
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What's "crinkly" isn't the actual eyes - it's the skin around the eyes.

Note that crinkly here is evocative of "laughter lines" (it's a positive description). That's as opposed to near-synonymous wrinkly, which is evocative of deteriorating / saggy / lined skin from old age and/or constant bad-tempered scowling / frowning.

So with his crinkly blue1 eyes here equates to with a smile, with the additional implication that Dawes is a good-natured man who habitually smiles (so those lines are "engraved" in his face).


1 Also note the extremely positive associations of this particular eye colour, as reflected in the informal idiomatic British English usage blue-eyed boy - a boy or man who is liked very much and is treated well by someone, especially by someone in authority.

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