Some teachers use the evil eye method to keep their students in line. Students tend to zone out during class lectures and discussions in elementary school. But sometimes when you're zoned out, you are brought back to reality by a change in classroom mood, such as the realisation that the room is completely silent. This is a scary way to be brought back to reality, especially when your teacher is known for the evil eye. You zone back in to see a few kids looking at you, a few looking at the teacher, and many looking down at their laps. And then, when you look at the teacher, she's staring at you in an EVIL, angry way. When it happened to me, the look lasted for at least 5 seconds after I first looked into her ugly Medusa eyes. It was a very surreal and uncomfortable situation.

It was even more surreal when class suddenly started up again like nothing had happened.
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Composed of continuing and somewhat interrelated stories in a modern gothic fairy tale setting. The stories are maze-like, full of dark twists and gallows humor. Sala manages to use some fairly trite concepts including pirates, insatiable lesbians, and the secret plots of university cabals in inventive and interesting ways.

The evil eye is a pan-Mediterranean superstition. It has many manifestations, from a sinister but not personified force to a specific glare, usually from an elderly woman, which can initiate a spate of bad fortune.

The evil eye myth exists in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt,and North Africa, testifying to a common cultural heritage in all of these places. In southern Italy the legend is perhaps most prominent, and the evil eye goes by the name of 'maloccio'. There it is said to be warded off by a hand gesture that looks like an upside down devil's horns. The mere mention of maloccio may trigger a somewhat automatic flashing of the gesture, in much the same way as an American will 'knock on wood'. In the woppier parts of the Eastern US one will occasionally see jewlery with little hands in the shape of the warding off gesture.

Names for the Evil Eye in different cultures:
(Note: Not always a direct translation of "Evil Eye," the names listed here are the mythological equivalants of "Evil Eye")
Greece: Baskania
Rome: Fascinatio
Spanish-speaking countries in South America: Mal de Ojo
France: Mauvais Oeil
Haiti: Mauvais Jé
Holland: Booz Blick (try saying that five times fast)
Germany: Böser Blick
Poland: Zte Oko
Corsica: Innocchiatura
Norway: Skørtunge
Denmark: Det Onde Øje
Ireland: Droch-shuil
Scotland: Bad Ee
Persia: Aghashi
Arabia: 'Ayn
Israel: Ayin Hara
Tunisia: 'Ayn Harsha
Armenia: Pasternak
China: Ok Ngan
Turkey: Nazar
Tuscany and Southern Italy: Affascinamento or Jettatura or Malocchio
The rest of Italy: Malocchio

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E"vil eye` (?)

. See Evil eye under Evil, a.


© Webster 1913.

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