Boss-eyed


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Boss eyed'?

Cross-eyed or squinty.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Boss eyed'?

This first appears in the 19th century. It is defined in John Camden Hotten’s A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant and Vulgar Words, 1869 as:

“Boss-eyed – a person with one eye, or rather with one eye injured”.

The 1887 edition of Notes and Queries says – “To boss is schoolboy slang for ‘to miss’.”

Trend of boss – eyed in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.