Moo-Goo-Gai-Pan Look

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HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
I was watching an episode of 'Love Boat,' and when Julie, one of the lead characters, met a man who she had had a crush on as a kid after many years, a friend of his described her as having 'that moo-goo-gai-pan look.' I know from seeing the scene and her expression there, she liked him very much. I checked a few websites, and found what moo goo gai pan is, seeing a picture of it. However, I can't figure out how that culinary item comes to mean somebody has an I'm-crazy-about-you expression.

I'd appreciate your help.

Hiro
 
  • tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    We often refer to that particular look as a moon face - one moons over the object of ones affection. It can also be called a mooshie - or mushie - face. I would say the reference to moo goo gai pan is simply a humourous way to say the same thing. Moonie, mooshie, moo goo gai pan... it is quite a stretch of the language to use it.
     

    KenInPDX

    Senior Member
    US English
    I think I've also heard the phrase "goo-goo eyes".

    I agree with what Tepatria said, but I would add that this is a very unusual use of "moo goo gai pan". I think the writer of the show was trying to be clever. You would not use "moo goo gai pan" in this way in ordinary English conversation or writing.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    We often refer to that particular look as a moon face - one moons over the object of ones affection.
    I think I've also heard the phrase "goo-goo eyes".
    Or, now that I've pondered it, it may be derived from a mishmash of those and 'moon-eyed.' I was thinking maybe there could be that particular set phrase out there, but thanks! It's been clarified. It must have been made by the author.

    Hiro
     
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