The phrase "bat an eye" means a lack of reaction or indifference to a particular situation. It is frequently used in scenarios where a surprising, shocking, or impressive event occurs, and a person shows no sign of surprise, shock, or awe.
- "Bat an eye" means to not show any emotional reaction, such as surprise, interest, or disapproval.
The phrase conveys a lack of response or an expression of indifference towards an event or statement. It suggests that an individual is unperturbed or unaffected.
Let's dive into its core meanings and related expressions:
The phrase originates from the physical act of blinking or batting one's eyes as a reaction to surprise or shock. The saying, therefore, draws a picture of someone so unperturbed or indifferent that they don't even blink—an involuntary action in response to surprise.
"You don't bat an eye, but yawn, perhaps, and saunter into an obscure place where you set your trap for the next victim."
- Photo-Era Magazine, the American Journal of Photography, 1913
Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:
The phrase "bat an eye" often appears in various forms of media to denote a character's lack of reaction or indifference.
Let's look at some examples:
There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "bat an eye."
Some of these include:
These alternatives can be used interchangeably depending on the context and the level of indifference or lack of surprise being conveyed.
"Bat an eye" refers to the act of showing no reaction or expressing indifference towards an event or statement that would typically elicit surprise or shock.
You can use "bat an eye" to express a lack of surprise, interest, or disapproval. For example, "Despite the shocking news, he didn't bat an eye."
The phrase comes from the physical act of blinking or batting one's eyes as a reaction to surprise or shock.
No, not necessarily. It just means that the person showed no outward reaction. It does not speak to their emotional state or character.
It depends on the context. In some situations, showing no reaction might be seen as a lack of empathy or interest.
In certain circumstances, it could be perceived as a sign of emotional strength or control.
Yes, it could be used in a positive situation, for instance, if someone received a gift and didn't bat an eye, indicating they were not swayed by material things.
Not solely. While it often implies a lack of surprise, it can also indicate a lack of reaction or indifference in general.
Yes, it could be used to describe a stoic reaction to a situation.
Yes, "bat an eye" is frequently used in literary contexts to describe a character's non-reaction to surprising or shocking events.
The idiom "bat an eye" is an expression used to denote indifference, lack of surprise, or a lack of reaction to an event or information that would typically elicit a response.
Here's a quick recap:
The use of "bat an eye" is a subtle way to express a character's emotional strength, indifference, or lack of surprise. Whether it's in storytelling or everyday communication, it adds a layer of depth to character depiction and dialogue.