Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Do you ever Blare your Eyes?

blare your eyes

Do you ever blare your eyes? I do. I teasingly tell my co-workers my one and only fault is I cannot hide the fact that I think something or someone is stupid. Of course I actually have many many faults, but all you have to do is look at my face to know how I feel. An actor I am not.

Thankfully, most of the time I do at least keep from blaring my eyes when I don’t like something.

You may ask what in the world blaring your eyes mean?

See Chitter’s face in the photo above? When she looks at me like that I say “Don’t blare your eyes at me!” In other words blare your eyes means to look at someone with anger or great distaste.

I’ve heard the word blare used in relation to someone’s eyes my whole life. Here’s another example I heard Pap say “Now he was hot! He looked up there at them, blared his eyes and said “No Sir that ain’t gonna happen here!”

I checked the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English along with ever other Appalachian dialect book I had to see if the word was listed in them. It’s not.

I did find the word usage on this website: Jim McManners – Ferryhill/Cassop C20/mid. Mr. McManners compiled a list of words he heard used in the 50s and 60s while growing up in England. In his area of the UK the word means to cry as in “She blared her eyes out after she lost her dog.”

A few years back I was thinking about the word and tested the girls and one of their friends. I said “If I told you not to blare your eyes at me would you know what I meant?” All three girls said yes and went on to say I would be telling them not to give me a dirty look.

Since I couldn’t find the word in any of my dictionaries I’m wondering how wide spread the word usage is-are you familiar with it?


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  • Reply
    Patricia Bradley
    April 13, 2021 at 8:44 am

    It is alive and well in Mississippi, too. I found this blog as I looked for the usage of blare because I want to use it in my book.

  • Reply
    Gareth Robson
    January 22, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I can confirm that in the north east of England the term “Blare your eyes out” means to cry uncontrollably. Not used very often any more but it crops up from time to time.

    • Reply
      January 23, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Thank you for letting us know the word is still used!

    • Reply
      Steve Patton
      February 1, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Yep, now I know whose fault it was that we used that expression so often as kids. I somehow lost it along the way though, but it does make perfect sense to me as I think about it. Must have been one of those language corrections imposed on me growing up away from my Appalachian roots. 🙂

    • Reply
      March 18, 2021 at 3:20 am

      I grew up in the fens . Blaring your eyes out meant to cry

  • Reply
    Susan Jones
    January 14, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Tipper, I met you at SEOPA. I live over in West Tennessee on the Tennessee River just south of the Kentucky state line. I’ve heard of and used most of the words and expressions that you write about, but this one stumped me. Thanks for sharing… excuse me while I go blare my eyes at my husband! :- )
    PS. Love your blog

  • Reply
    January 14, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    East TN native and I have always heard “Blare” used. Always knew it meant to open eyes big and wide for whatever reason. Shock, Anger or Surprise. To stare.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Grandma use to say to my sister, “Don’t you dare look at me in that tone of voice!” My sister would reply, “What do you mean Grandma?” “You blaring your eyes at me like that!” Grandma would reply. Then Grandma would reach for the flyswatter and hit my sister across the leg with it. HAHAHA Those were the days when kids wouldn’t dare talk back to their elders, unless they wanted to get swatted.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 12, 2018 at 3:04 am

    I meant todays teenagers….we blared in my day…they eye roll today…adding “whatever” with the roll sometimes…lol

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 12, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Teenagers I don’t think know what “eye blaring is” but I can tell you they sure know how to give a “eye roll”!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…My “eye blare” is automatic just about every day while watching or listening to some of these crazy news shows while I’m crafting or painting…..

  • Reply
    Rosamary christiansen
    January 11, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    One of mom’s all time favorites.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    January 11, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    When I was a teenager, my mother would say, “Don’t blare your eyes at me!”

  • Reply
    Norma Downing
    January 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Hooray~glad to see that post.
    (Still can’t open pictures from previous posts—Get the 404 Error)

  • Reply
    Norma Downing
    January 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Down here in Southern MS, we hear “Dont you give me That look!”
    I’m guilty of giving that look-which has lots of meanings..
    By the way, I have not been able to post since the move..I also cannot open the photos where you click on link to previous titles of days entries..
    Anxious to see if this one goes through..

  • Reply
    Yecedrah higman
    January 11, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Yes that is word used in Arkansas too!!! If Mama said quit blaring those eyes we knew we had better do as we were told.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Yes! I’m from Southeast Tennessee and I’ve heard it all my life! Not only did it described “angry eyes”, but also suddenly surprised eyes and eyes that like whatever they’re seeing.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Our Daughter cannot speak with her tongue that most can understand and at times, Her Mother and I struggle but those eyes and sometimes her upper lip tells it all.

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    January 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Never heard that word used that way. I do recognize the look though. Blaring always referred to as horns blaring or music too loud. lol I do remember the words “I heard tell.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Squinching up your eyes goes right along with blaring. You squinch your eyes to try to conceal the blaring. That usly makes things even worse.

  • Reply
    a.w. griff
    January 11, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I know the word but don’t think I’ve used it for awhile. It must have been a common word in E.KY. at one time.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Being a dad, I’ve seen that blare look alot. They usually get over it pretty quick. Chitter likes to take selfies and the closer she gets, the prettier she is. Both of them girls have those big, bushy eyebrows and black eyes that must drive the Boys crazy. I bet they get those bushy eyebrows from Pap.

    My Girls don’t do that anymore, just at their kids. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 11, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Very familiar with the word and I’m also prone to blare when I get a wee bit angry or calling BS on someone.
    Mine is more of a squinted blare if that make since.

  • Reply
    Maxine Appleby
    January 11, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Oh , yes! Don’t blare them eyes at me , young lady! – was my Mom’s frequent warning to me. Guess I was pretty good at “blaring” when I was growing up in South Carolina! Might even get caught blaring my eyes now and then even now!!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Poor guy, ha

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    January 11, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Yep, Tipper, I am very familiar with the expression. Like so many other ones, I don’t hear it much today.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    January 11, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I’ve never heard that term, but I’m going to start using it. My wife blares her eyes, often, I just told her the other day that she should never play poker.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 11, 2018 at 9:59 am

    “Don”t blare them eyes at me!” was heard quite frequently in households around Choestoe, Union County, GA, south of Blairsville where I grew up. And when my mother or father said that to one of their children, we knew, definitely, to straighten up our face, and especially form our silent eyes–to quit “blaring” at them! It was a look saying, “I don’t agree with what you’re telling me to do!” Or incredulity at the “knowingness” of our parents of trouble we’d been into, and we were getting a verbal reprimand to urge us to get on the right track with our behavior. And, as for me, I was wondering why my parents knew of my behavior in the first place; and second, how did they think I even needed to be reminded to “quit it, or else!” So that’s how “blaring my eyes” came through to me in Choestoe!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 11, 2018 at 9:54 am

    I heard the term a lot in my youth but not so much any more. Of course I came up only a few ridges and creeks and a couple of decades from you. I learned early on that too much blaring of one’s eyes could lead to a soreness in your other end.
    Generally I consider blared eyes is when you can see their entire iris. Fear and anticipation as well as anger cause the effect and most people cannot control it. The only way not to reveal blared eyes is to turn away.

  • Reply
    Carol Rosenbalm
    January 11, 2018 at 9:51 am

    In East Tennessee we say don’t look at me that way! But never heard blare your eyes at me. May try it and see what happens!

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    January 11, 2018 at 9:42 am

    I’ve never heard the word used in that context here in East Texas, but it sounds like a good word to use.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Oh yeah! Blaring my eyes without speaking a word got under Mom’s skin in the worst way. I can hear her saying, “I will smack that look off your face if you don’t stop blaring your eyes at me.” She seldom ever smacked her kids, but the threat was terrifying. That word is used so often where I come from that I never thought about it not being in the dictionary.

  • Reply
    Crystal Richmond
    January 11, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I have heard it… and yep I have blared my eyes a few times just hadn’t thought about it in long time.. thank you for bringing back memories….. Crys in Arkansas

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I don’t remember hearing the term. Your inability to disguise your feelings reminds me of my wife trying to discipline our daughter. She always showed her shock when the child did something forbidden. A counselor once told her to carry a paper plate so she could cover her face when she was near the child.

    My grandmother never changed her expression. I could never tell when she came toward me if I was getting a hug or punishment.

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Love the paper p ‘ll ate suggestion!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Yes, I heard it from my grandma when I was young and she would be getting on to us , “Stop blaring your eyes at me I mean it.” and if someone was telling something unbelievable , you would blare your eyes as the story went on. I think it means to open wide and look like I can’t believe that.

  • Reply
    Angela Easterling
    January 11, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Yes, I have heard the term “blare your eyes “.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 8:28 am

    I know the look, but not the term. The only way I have ever known that word to be used is related to sound, as in:
    “The trumpets blared, and then the parade began.” or “Don’t sit out there in the car and blare the horn — I’ll come
    out as soon as I get my coat on.”

    • Reply
      Sanford McKinney Jr
      January 13, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Blaring the eyes is the silent version of your definition. No word need be spoken, no sound need be made. The message is the same as if it were spoken.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Yes, don’t blare your eyes or roll your eyes where use by my mother. Usually during a “discussion” with me when I was a teen.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 11, 2018 at 8:21 am

    You did it again. How do you do that? I had not heard that in the longest but once again it is so familiar. As best I recall the way it was used, it could mean most anything. Meaning depended on the person and the situation. As you mention about yourself, it is what one is thinking showing up on their face, especially their eyes.

    I envy you only having one fault. And it isn’t very purely a fault. I so appreciate people who are just who they are and what they are everytime and everyplace.

    Now I have one for you. How long since you heard someone say “I heard tell ….”?

    • Reply
      January 12, 2018 at 4:52 am

      Since I lived in Georgia for most of my life, I often say it when telling the grandchildren something of a story that should be taken with a grain of salt.

      • Reply
        January 12, 2018 at 4:56 am

        Shoot, I’ve even been known to say, “I might just as well . . .”

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    January 11, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I hadn’t thought about this one in a while, but my mom said it to us all the time! Love the new site, Tipper, but I’m not getting the email. I just pinned to most visited!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 6:31 pm


      Thank you for the comments! You are still subscribed-wonder if the email is going to your spam folder? If you want to we can delete your subscription and resubscribe you? Just let me know if you want to try it.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I haven’t ever heard the word either (Midwest girl) but also know exactly the look you mean!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 11, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Know when someone is blaring their eyes at me and also know when I am doing the same.
    Never heard it called blaring. Just know the look.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2018 at 7:49 am

    I have heard it but not for a long time.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 11, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Tip, that’s one I’don’t remember ever hearing. Glare, yes, but blare, no. Like Roger, I do know the look!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 11, 2018 at 7:28 am

    I Don’t know it either. Perhaps the word has changed over the centuries. Interesting

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    January 11, 2018 at 7:04 am

    blare verb
    To proclaim in a blatantly startling way:
    I believe this is as close a definition to blaring your eyes as we will find. Blaring the eyes is the silent version of a blaring sound such as from a trumpet or any loud sound. Comments welcome?
    define blare

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    January 11, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Haven’t heard the term, but with a wife, three daughters and three sisters I know the look well!

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