Admirer 3
Posts: 695

Evil eye or "Lucky" eye?

I always knew it was called an Evil Eye. Why is HSN calling it a lucky eye? Is "Evil" too un-PC for them? It seems to be an odd name for it.
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Admirer 2
Posts: 110

RE: Evil eye or "Lucky" eye?

I believe the answer to your question is a resounding "Yes!" Here's a little history:
In some forms, it is the belief that some people can bestow a curse on victims by the malevolent gaze of their magical eye. The most common form, however, attributes the cause to envy, with the envious person casting the evil eye doing so unintentionally. Also the effects on victims vary. Some cultures report afflictions with bad luck; others believe the evil eye can cause disease, wasting away, and even death. In most cultures, the primary victims are thought to be babies and young children, because they are so often praised and commented upon by strangers or by childless women. The late UC Berkeley professor of folklore Alan Dundes has explored the beliefs of many cultures and found a commonality — that the evil caused by the gaze is specifically connected to symptoms of drying, desiccation, withering, and dehydration, that its cure is related to moistness, and that the immunity from the evil eye that fish have in some cultures is related to the fact that they are always wet. His essay "Wet and Dry: The Evil Eye" is a standard text on the subject.

In many forms of the evil eye belief, a person — otherwise not malefic in any way — can harm adults, children, livestock, or a possession, simply by looking at them with envy. The word "evil" can be seen as somewhat misleading in this context, because it suggests that someone has intentionally "cursed" the victim. A better understanding of the term "evil eye" can be gained from the old English word for casting the evil eye, namely "overlooking," implying that the gaze has remained focused on the coveted object, person, or animal for too long.

While some cultures hold that the evil eye is an involuntary jinx cast unintentionally by people unlucky enough to be cursed with the power to bestow it by their gaze, others hold that, while perhaps not strictly voluntary, the power is called forth by the sin of envy.
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Admirer 2
Posts: 588

RE: Evil eye or "Lucky" eye?

tudu has given excellent synopsis.

In the Near East, for example, they will be the FIRST to tell you that they either 1) fully believe in the power of envy to threaten those important to them, as in someone coveting something or admiring via stare or gaze that has envy & jealously as the base of that admiration - which in effect causes the subject of envy to become cursed (a person can admire someone or thing innocently, but it may still be perceived by tribal or family member as a either a hostile or threatening act) ... or ... 2) they will tell you they think the whole concept is stu-pid and complete bunk - laugh and toss the whole subject aside.

Hopefully HSN's renaming of this isn't heightened PC-ism on the road to making Websters half the size it currently is.

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