1

How do the AmE speakers describe the following symbols of beauty and ugliness: when eg. a girl has very beautiful 'big' eyes (not overmuch) how do you call it? I guess you say:

- 1- She has very beautiful wide eyes.

What about the opposite scenario when someone has very big eyes as if their eyes are coming out from their eye socket; perhaps you say:

- 2- She is pop-eyed.

Note: in this sense, I need to discover the informal / colloquial term, but about the other sentences, I am looking for the most common way to call such people.

Finally what about someone who has a very wide mouth? I think you should say:

- 3- He has a very wide-mouth

or perhaps:

- 4- He is very wide-mouthed.

PS. for me all the first three sentences work well, but I am not sure if they are the way natives express them. About the #4, I guess it is little bizarre.

  • "wide eye" does have an impression of immaturity. But in literal sense it does mean what you intend. I will use "big beautiful eyes". When I say "big", there are chances of it being over-sized, but the next word "beautiful" brings the impression on right track - regardless of how big the eyes are, they are beautiful. A normal big eye is generally beautiful, but generally an over-sized eye isn't. – Man_From_India Oct 19 '14 at 14:32
  • Thanks @Man_From_India; it was helpful, but please let what the natives think of it. ;) – A-friend Oct 19 '14 at 14:55
  • Exactly. Wait for the natives. Because this is the kind of question that a native speaker can best answer, in my opinion. – Man_From_India Oct 19 '14 at 15:12
  • 2
    The natives use beautiful big eyes or big beautiful eyes, but not beautiful wide eyes to mean beautiful. And big eyes (without beautiful) refers only to size. – user6951 Oct 19 '14 at 17:50
2

1) and 3) are OK and sound fine. I won't comment on whether wide or big is better, as that would depend on the subject and opinion of the writer. Though I think big would probably be used more often.

2) I would use bug-eyed, though this has a negative connotation and could be insulting. In any case, I can't see that any term describing such a condition would be taken positively.

4) He is very wide-mouthed.

This seems like you are describing him or his behavior, rather than his mouth. Something like:

He is very open-mouthed (talkative).

But I doubt you would normally hear a phrase like 4).

2
  1. She has very beautiful big/large eyes.

    I would usually use "wide" to refer to a large interocular distance or a look of surprise/fear. As @Man_From_India suggests, the opposite word order ("She has big beautiful eyes") would be more natural, and emphasizes the beauty aspect more.

  2. She has bulging eyes.

    "Bulging eyes" could also be used to describe a housefly.

  3. He has a very wide mouth.

    You would only hyphenate a compound adjective. Here, "wide" is an adjective, and "mouth" is the noun, and they should be separate words.

  4. He is very wide-mouthed.

    Wide-mouthed, like wide-eyed, refers not to the width in the horizontal direction, but to being opened wide. If you are referring to the side-to-side distance, use expression 3.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.