give the girl the eye

Geilis

Member
French,France
Bonjour à tous,

J'essaie de traduire une chanson de Marvin Gaye dans laquelle se trouve cette phrase: For I'm the type of guy who gives girl the eye, everybody knows.

Je me dis que la traduction littérale "donner l'oeil à la fille" ne veut pas dire grand chose. :confused:

Les "natives" pourraient-ils m'aider?
Merci

 
  • mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    My try :
    Car je suis le genre de mec qui mate les filles, tout le monde le sait
    My Robert defines mater as regarder sans être vu. You can't "give someone the eye" without being seen. "The eye" is a tacit invitation; it has to be seen to be accepted.

    Does faire de l'œil aux filles work?

    Lancer des œillades ???
     

    zita beretta

    Senior Member
    France - French
    Sorry Mgarizona , ;) , but"mater" is also a slang word for a "male looking at female", not only "regarder sans être vu" , especially used by young people today (old slang was "reluquer")
    Trésor de la langue française :
    MATER3, verbe trans.
    Argot
    A.
    Voir ou regarder attentivement ou épier. [Le petit pantalon en dentelle de la fille] planquait pas grand'chose (...). On pouvait mater au travers (LE BRETON, Rififi, 1953, 51). La sensation d'être maté par plusieurs paires d'yeux (SIMONIN, Touchez pas au grisbi, 1953, p.205).
    B.
    Regarder avec concupiscence. Deux belles blondes leur passent devant le nez, et ils n'ont pas le droit de mater plus haut que le genou (QUENEAU, Pierrot, 1942, p.115).
    En partic. Observer des ébats sexuels.
    :)
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    But my point is that "giving someone the eye" is not simply about looking at them. It's about communicating desire to them in an unspoken manner, it's about eliciting interest in return that can be acted upon. If I'm giving you the eye, I'm hoping you'll notice, and give me the eye in return, which will be my "green light" to approach and ... well, take it from there. From the examples I've seen, that doesn't seem to be what mater/reluquer mean. There would be, for example, absolutely no sense in "giving the eye no higher than the knee."
     

    zita beretta

    Senior Member
    France - French
    Hello Mgarizona,
    "It's about communicating desire to them in an unspoken manner" = that's the exact and present-day meaning of "mater" in slang (and even in the Trésor :Regarder avec concupiscence.)
    But I understand you don't like my "mater":confused: I don't know why...
    Your faire de l'oeil and lancer des oeillades are perfect of course, but in a rather formal and elegant language, which I thought was not the point here, because of "guy" that gave to me a connotation of colloquialism.
    But maybe I'm wrong.
    Amicalement:)
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    Hello Mgarizona,
    "It's about communicating desire to them in an unspoken manner" = that's the exact and present-day meaning of "mater" in slang (and even in the Trésor :Regarder avec concupiscence.)
    But I understand you don't like my "mater":confused: I don't know why...
    Your faire de l'oeil and lancer des oeillades are perfect of course, but in a rather formal and elegant language, which I thought was not the point here, because of "guy" that gave to me a connotation of colloquialism.
    But maybe I'm wrong.
    Amicalement:)
    I think it's a difference in approach--mater and draguer make me think of hitting on someone (pretty frankly direct and usually verbal)

    to give someone the eye is subtle--not verbal or direct. If you feel the vibe you are receiving, you know it's happening. You can ignore it, though, and no one will have to say "no thanks"!
     

    zita beretta

    Senior Member
    France - French
    Hi Wildan
    "I think it's a difference in approach--mater and draguer make me think of hitting on someone (pretty frankly direct and usually verbal)"
    I understand the problem is the misunderstanding of "mater", which is totally different from "draguer"(whose definition you gave is perfect.)
    "Mater" is just a way of "looking at", "avec concupiscence", meaning more or less "there is desire in the air". Today this verb can lose some of its sexual connotation, and can be used for "regarder fixement" or "longuement", , like :
    - Qu'est ce tu fous? (very colloquial for Qu'est-ce que tu fais?)
    - J'mate la télé.
    Or
    -J'ai horreur de m'faire mater par les keufs
    But I am hair-splitting maybe;)
     

    melusines

    Member
    Belgium French
    The closest translation is the expression "faire de l'oeil aux filles" that conveys all de meaning of "mater/reluquer" in addition to the intention of generating a positive reaction on her side.
     

    mgarizona

    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Hello Mgarizona,
    "It's about communicating desire to them in an unspoken manner" = that's the exact and present-day meaning of "mater" in slang (and even in the Trésor :Regarder avec concupiscence.)
    But I understand you don't like my "mater":confused: I don't know why...
    I love mater, it's just that it reads to me more like 'ogle' which is something else. And I'll note that 'ogle' can definitely be defined as regarder avec concupiscence.

    Tell me this: giving of eye can be, and should be, a mutual endeavor, so "We sat there about 15 minutes, giving each other the eye."

    Can mater be used reciprocally that way? Nous nous matons? Because I haven't been able to find any examples of it. If not, it's not the right word.
     
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