Boss Eyed – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking at someone with a cross-eyed appearance? You could say they are ‘boss-eyed.’ This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression ‘boss-eyed’ means someone with a ‘cross-eyed’ appearance. Their eyes don’t line up properly, giving their vision a ‘squinty’ appearance. Some people are born ‘boss-eyed’ and stay that way for the rest of their lives.

Boss-eyed’ is also a trend on social media platforms and message boards, where users post pictures of celebrities with a cross-eyed look. However, assuming a cross-eyed look may insult them, as they are usually conscious of their problem. Insulting them may lower their self-confidence and damage their self-image.

Example Usage

"Look at that guy over there. There's something wrong with his eyes. It's like he's cross-eyed, but on purpose. I think that what people refer to as 'boss-eyed.'"

"Boss-eyed people are so funny. I know I shouldn't laugh at them, but I can't help myself. Maybe I should examine my behavior around others."

"A boss-eyed person always draws my attention. They just look peculiar, and I can't help but stare at their eyes. The last boss-eyed person I saw got angry at me for staring at them."

"Some celebrities are taking this 'boss-eyed' trend seriously. There are thousands of videos and memes of it. Isn't that bullying to people who have the condition?"



The expression 'boss-eyed' originates from the late 19th century. While it may seem like 'cross-eyed' is a more current term, 'boss-eyed' predates it. The phrase's first appearance is in 'A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant and Vulgar Words,' published by John Camden Hotten in 1869. The expression appears as follows.

"Boss-eyed - a person with one eye, or rather with one eye injured."

The phrase caught on in the 1900s, but it's unclear why cross-eyed ended up as the preferred version over 'boss-eyed.' Some language experts believe 'cross-eyed' is more common in Europe, while 'boss-eyed' is more common in the United States.

Phrases Similar to Boss Eyed

  • Cross-eyed.
  • Vision-impaired.

Phrases Opposite to Boss Eyed

  • 20/20 vision.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Boss-eyed.

Ways People May Say Boss Eyed Incorrectly

The phrase ‘boss-eyed’ doesn’t refer to your boss giving you a stare or eyeing you out. It means that someone has a cross-eyed appearance.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Boss Eyed

You can use the phrase ‘boss-eyed’ to describe people that have a cross-eyed appearance or cross their eyes around other people to act silly. Typically, the person has a congenital defect causing them to have a drooping eye or one eye that doesn’t act in sync with the other. A ‘boss-eyed’ person usually cannot uncross their eyes to a normal position.

However, there are several memes online of celebrities in a ‘boss-eyed’ stare. It’s a funny trend, and the memes appear on message boards and forums like 4Chan and Reddit. You can use ‘boss-eyed in social and professional situations. You could use it at work to describe a boss-eyed customer. Or use it with friends to describe someone with a boss-eyed appearance. It’s a generally well-understood term in Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z generations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *