The sticky things on your eyes when you wake up... [+sleep]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by rich7, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. rich7 Senior Member

    Venezuela español
    Topic: The sticky things on your eyes when you wake up...
    Cagey, moderator.

    I just wondering what you call this in English....

    Green, sticky thing, that tells that you overslept and are a boom.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2016
  2. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    Where I am from, we call them "eye boogers."
  3. rich7 Senior Member

    Venezuela español
    Really? heheheheheh.......
  4. MinaDidi Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hi, Rich! Well, I tend to get it even if I haven't overslept and am not a bum, but here are some ideas on what to call it in English...I've heard many people call it different things.

    "sleep crud," "crud," "sleep," "crisp," "crispies," "sleep crispies"

    I think they would all work equally well in this sentence:

    "I have sleep in my eyes."

    I prefer that one because it sounds the nicest, but I've heard people use all of the above as well.

    I'm sure there's many different options though (and an actual scientific term for it)!
  5. qbnaenmiami Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    U.S. Spanish and English
    I found this in the dictionary


  6. qbnaenmiami Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    U.S. Spanish and English
    I also found this in
    Main Entry: rheum
    Pronunciation: 'rüm
    Function: noun
    : a watery discharge from the mucous membranes especially of the eyes or nose; also : a condition (as a cold) marked by such discharge —rheumy /-E/ adjective
  7. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    This certainly might be a medical term. I've never heard it spoken colloquially in the US, although it's possible it is used in other English-speaking countries.
  8. In England I've only heard this called ''sleep''.

    I remember The Monkees' song Daydream Believer, which has in its lyrics

    "The six o’clock alarm would never ring.
    Whoops it’s ringing and I rise,
    Wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
    My shavin’ razor’s cold and it stings."

    I presume "Wipe the sleep out of my eyes" has the same meaning.

    LRV :)
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Welcome MinaDidi, and I agree with your preference for sleep. Clearly not the right word, clinically, it is the most common in normal conversation.

    Rheum is both the liquid from your watery eyes and sleep:)

    Rheumy eyes would be found, I'm sure, in some corners of English Literature. I'll look in a minute or two.
  10. maxiogee Banned

    "That green gunk" does it for me.

    "Wipe the sleep out of my eyes" doesn't fit for me, as it applies even when there isn't any green gunk there. To me, it applies to the action of rubbing one's eyes on waking.

  11. In the UK we use the word "rheumy" to describe the watery eyes of the elderly, both human and animal.

    This tends to be a permanent, ongoing condition which has no real relevance to the topic in question, although I expect sufferers would wake up with the dried discharge stuck in the corners of their eyes and in their eyelashes.

  12. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    HERE are the Google hits for rheumy eyes.
    643 of them.
  13. maxiogee Banned

    Would that be "a rheum with a view"? :D
    Is that green stuff ever referred to as the "sand" which the sandman sprinkles? (This is asked of those who grew up with a sandman, I didn't.)

  14. I've only noticed "green gunk" when the eyes have an infection, Tony. "Sleep", as I know it, is very pale in colour.

    I remember when my boys were small, and able to wash themselves (hmmm), they would try to get away with a quick splash of water on their faces in the morning. I usually found they still had "sleep" in their eyes and I would have to march them to the bathroom and make them wipe it out properly.

    Boys will be boys! ;) :)

  15. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    Can't say I've ever seen it green, but it's always just been "sleep" to me.
  16. bartonig Senior Member

    UK English
    My mum called it "sleepy dust" and I have used the expression ever since.
  17. maxiogee Banned

    Well Rich7 and I must have lived our lives with eye infections, 'cos it's always been green to me, and "green" was what was asked about.
  18. mariposita

    mariposita Senior Member

    US, English
    In my family we call it schmutz... Since we're sharing, mine is yellowish. And the idea of the sandman always scare the **** of out me.

    I think sleep is the most sophisticated and eufemistic term; eye boogers the most descriptive and honest.
  19. GenJen54

    GenJen54 Senior Member

    Downright Pleasant, USA
    USA - English
    I had forgotten about the word "sleep," as in "I've got sleep in my eyes." Indeed, we do use that, and it is very common.

    The descriptive "eye boogers" was first in mind.
  20. Aud Duck Senior Member

    Illinois, USA
    English--United States
    I think most people make up their own term for it (I have an uncle who, for mysterious reasons of his own, always calls it "duck poop.") Judging by the fact that my mind was blank when I read the question, I think I would probably just say "that gunk in your eyes." Upon reflection, I seem to recall my mother calling it "sleepy," which supports the general consensus that "sleep" is the best term.

  21. As was "sticky". My experience of "sleep" is that it is always dry and crusty.

    I think you should see a vet, Tony (and Rich) since
    However, Tony, since I know how much you enjoy your food, you shoudn't be too concerned. :D ;)

    Woof, woof!
  22. The Soap Maker New Member

    Tennessee [USA], English
    Rheumy sounds weird to me, even in some corners of English Literature.
    You're right, sleep is definitively the best.
    I've heard "crisps" or "crispies" a couple of time too, but it's way less poetic ;)
  23. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Now that I think about it, so did my mother!

    Apparently it can also be called "eye crust".
  24. mjscott Senior Member

    "Hey, son, you might want to was your face again. You missed some crackers still hanging on in the corners of your eyes!"
  25. rich7 Senior Member

    Venezuela español
    I see I've opened a can of worms and realize that there are certain words in every culture that are a pretty common and some that are not.
    In my country this word translates to "lagaña" and there is not argument about it.
    I wonder, by the way, if it is the case in all other spanish speaking countries.
  26. mjscott Senior Member

    Ask the Spanish forum....
  27. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Yes, maxiogee, when I was little, in my family we would say "I still have sand in my eyes [from the sand man]."

    'Rheumy' is correct, but sounds more literary to my ears...
  28. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    So vulgar = honest?

    My understanding of Yiddish is limited, mind you, but I believe that schmutz literally means semen.

    Honestly, I prefer "sleep" to describe that crusty buildup. I also like it for the the fact, as maxiogee noted, that it has both a literal and poetic aspect to it.
  29. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    No worries, fenix - 'shmuts/schmutz' means dirt (Yiddish & German).

    Now that I think about it, my kids used to say 'I have sleepies in my eyes" when they were little, but I don't think that this term is very wide-spread!
  30. mariposita

    mariposita Senior Member

    US, English
    Every grandmother and mother in my family (including me) says to her little child:

    You've got schmutz in your eyes.
    You've got a little bit of schmutz on your face.
    You've got some schmutz on your shirt.

    It's not even remotely vulgar, just descriptive. Schmutz means a little piece of dirt or lint.
  31. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    English (England)
    No one restricted the source of the sticky things on your eyes when you wake up (green or otherwise);) ...
  32. KittyCatty

    KittyCatty Senior Member

    English UK
    I back up "sleepy dust" - that's what my parents call it. Although my friends laughed at me when I said this because they call it "sleep", and they found my phrase funny and "cute". Lol. So mean.
  33. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    I don't really have anything to add here, but I wanted to offer a musical tribute to all you posters who have given me such entertainment with this thread.:)

    So here it is: sung to the tune of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Sing along.;)

    Sleep Gets in Your Eyes

    They ask me how to say
    Things formed every day
    Oh, Ooooooh
    I of course replied
    It sticks to the side
    The color verified

    They said the word is plain
    If you live in Spain
    Oh, Ooooooh
    Whether gunk or goop
    You must realise
    Sleep gets in your eyes

    Sometimes crisp and others more crusty
    To think that they're dry or wet
    In a dog's distempered Irish bog
    The Queen prescribes a vet

    Now it's rude to call it schmutz?
    Don't be such a putz
    Oh, Ooooooh
    So I smile and say
    They're not such a great prize
    Sleep gets in your eyes

    Crescendo < Sleep gets in your eyeeeeeees.

    I apologize in advance for the sheer silliness of this and also if I've made some horrible mistake in songwriting or verse. I have a big project due next week, and I'm procrastinating like mad. It's my process.:D
  34. Thank you Rsweet! That is just brilliant, I'm still laughing at your great sense of humour. :D :D :D I hear Andrew Lloyd Webber is looking for a new lyricist - I reckon you'd get the job.


    Thanks again,

  35. No one restricted the source of the sticky things on your eyes when you wake up (green or otherwise);) ...

    My thoughts precisely, Tim. :D As well as that, bats have been known to fly into bedrooms at night. ;)

  36. Boyd New Member

    LOL I'd agree with the person who says that if you have green discharge around your eyes most likely you have an infection!
  37. rich7 Senior Member

    Venezuela español
  38. maxiogee Banned

    I thought distemper was that green stuff on the walls of every national school in Ireland when I was young. It was usually from floor to about shoulder height, and topped with a yucky creamy yellow.
    It wasn't sticky though.

    rsweet, that was a touch of class!
  39. evernever New Member

    hello to all,

    what do you call "rheum" (from the eyes) in daily language?

    thanks in advance.
  40. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Interesting thread, Panjandrum. Thanks for bringing it back.

    I'm surprised no one mentioned "yellow matter custard" which is what I grew up thinking it was called, thanks to John Lennon.
  41. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I was surprised not see two terms I've heard quite a bit - "sleepies" (a variant of "sleep", I guess) and "matter", a very vague term but I've heard it used, as in, "You've got some matter in the corner of your eye."
  42. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I too would call matter the default term for those little eye boogers. It's also a verb.

    "This dry weather is making my eyes matter."
  43. maxiogee Banned

    I think that is not sleep-associated, but death-associated. And, it wasn't the dried, gritty stuff we're discussing here, it was dripping!
  44. LouisaB Senior Member

    English, UK
    It would help to have a little context, evernever.

    Because at the risk of being extremely boring, it is quite possible that we're not referring to 'boogers' or 'yellow matter custard' at all. Rheum is usually wet, I think, so it may be we need the obvious word - 'tears'!!

    In everyday language, if what's coming from the eyes is wet, I'd refer to it either as water ('He has watery eyes', 'This is making my eyes water'), or as tears ('He has tears running down his face').

    I'm so, so sorry to be this dull - but it could be what the question's after!
  45. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Oops - you could be right.
    Those rheumy eyes didn't have boogers or any kind of crispy bits, they were watery.

    Sorry evernever, if I have led this discussion completely astray:eek:
  46. konungursvia Banned

    Canada (English)
    My mom always called it "sand" or "sleep", as in you've got sleep in your eyes. Do you remember the song, Mr. Sandman? It was about the "sand" in the eyes too.
  47. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    This is one of those things you don't often hear conversations about: the stuff that collects in the corners of your eyes while you're asleep. What a nice tasteful subject.
    Nowadays I call it eye snot (well, it's as good a name as any) but I'm about 50% certain I've heard it called sleepy jacks ~ heaven knows why.
    Do you have a name for it? Is there a technical term for it?
    Just wondering.
  48. Sophiie Senior Member

    Warwickshire, UK
    England, English
    I've always known it as 'sleep'. A bit of an odd word for it I suppose. There are probably US/UK differences.
  49. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member/Moderator

    English, USA
    Hello. I do not know of a technical term for it. I have always heard it called simply: sleep.
  50. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    So you'd say I had a bit of sleep in my eyes, Sophiie and Kayokid ... ?

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