Apr 25, 2022
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The meaning of the phraseologism “sparks from the eyes”

The meaning of the phraseologism

Various special effects of appearance are well known to people of the 21st century, lovers of modern cinema and computer graphics. But where did the expression “sparks from the eyes” come from in the lexicon of our ancestors? Let’s find out right now.

The meaning of phraseology

Phrase “sparks from the eyes” is a fragment of the expression “sparks from the eyes fell” and means a strong shock resulting from a blow, rotation, rapid movement, or any other rapid movement. Usually this describes a semi-conscious state, accompanied by severe pain. It appears as a result of an unpleasant situation (fights, beatings, accidents, falls).

The expression, for example, is found in folk tales and epics. The women beat the stealing fox so that “sparks fell from her eyes.” Sparks fall from the eyes of the enemy when the heroes drive the adversary from the Russian land. In more peaceful situations, sparks appear in the eyes from climbing stairs abruptly, from visual overload, or circling the carousel for too long.

Origin of expression

Phraseologism appeared on the basis of everyday experience. The appearance of luminous points with dizziness, familiar to everyone. Sometimes they occur with vision problems, sometimes they are the result of a sudden change in position. It happens that the eyes ripple from hunger or fatigue.

Do not confuse the expression “sparks from the eyes” with the idiom “sparkle / sparkle in the eyes” or “sparkling look”. The last expression is used when it comes to happiness, pleasure, enthusiasm. It has nothing to do with pain or cruelty.

Test for knowledge of phraseological units →


The idiom “sparkle in the eye” is synonymous with many other “pain symptoms”:

  • head cracking / cracking;
  • the soul went to the heels;
  • breath stopped;
  • light from a sheepskin appeared.

Whatever the cause of the sparks, you can’t call it pleasant.

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