Maybe the most poetic word for a squint that any language in the world has to offer

Translation: “silver look” / meaning: a slight squint

It sounds like it’s a special power of a rightly forgotten Marvel comic hero from the late 60s. In reality, however, bearers of a Silberblick can neither search for treasures nor turn their fellow humans into precious metal. 

The word refers to a slight squint that, depending on the beholder’s preferences, may well be considered to be kind of sexy and mysterious. In art, the Silberblick is even deliberately used as a painting technique. Just think of the 500 years lasting fuss about the Mona Lisa (no, she does not follow you with her eyes, you are pretty but not that pretty). According to a popular theory, the term goes back to the peculiar shimmering of silver at the end of the melting process. This is said to resemble being looked at by two slightly displaced pupils. However, one can only speculate about the truth of this derivation. 

Definitely not true is the threat of German parents that you should not squint intentionally, because otherwise your eyes will stay in this position. This is about as accurate as the story that masturbation makes you blind.


German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

For more language weirdness, check the brand new “German is weird” book. 

Related Weirdness

German is weird: Fun Facts and Trivia about the German language

This blog is a love letter to the curiosities of the German language that give it its poetic and, at times, oddly humorous qualities.

German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

The “German Is Weird” book is now available: order here!

Weirdest Articles
Instagram Feed