The concept of the evil eye has no boundaries as it has been a universal belief throughout history. The evil eye might be stronger in certain cultures than in others, but almost every culture and religion has the evil eye belief or something very similar to it. Evil eye amulets can be seen throughout the world in different formats as people try to protect themselves against the effects of the evil eye.
The evil eye is referred to in many different ways even within the same language at times. Below is a list of languages and how they refer to the concept of the evil eye. The sheer length of the list shows that the belief is universal and shared by many across the globe.
Albanian "mer më sysh" (to give somebody the bad eye)
Armenian "atchk ooloonk" (eye bead); "char atchk" (evil eye)
Amharic "Buda" (one with envious eyes)
Standard Arabic عين حسد ayin hasad (eye of envy)
Standard Arabic "ayin ha'ra" (hot/evil eye)
Tunisian Arabic "'ayn l-mrida" (sick eye)
Azerbaijani "göz dəyməsi" (touching of eye); "kəm göz" (evil eye); often simply "göz" (the eye)
Bengali "Nojor"(Standard: bad thing), "Nazar"(Sylheti and Chittagongian: the curse)
Chamorro "Atan baba"
Croatian "Urokljivo oko" (the cursing eye)
Czech "uhrančivý pohled" (bedeviling gaze)
Danish "det onde øje" (the evil eye)
Dutch "het boze oog" (the evil eye)
Filipino "Matang Nanlilisik" (literally: evil eye); "Usog" or "Balis"
Finnish "Paha silmä" (evil eye)
French "Le Mauvais Oeil", "La Guigne", "La Skoumoune", depending on region
Gaelic "Droch shuil" (the evil eye)
German "Böser Blick" (evil gaze)
In Greek, to matiasma (μάτιασμα) or mati (μάτι) someone refers to the act of casting the evil eye (Mati being the Greek word for eye); also: "vaskania" (βασκανία, the Greek word for jinx)
Hebrew "ayin ha'ra" (the evil eye)
Hindi "Buri Nazar" (evil gaze)
Hungarian szemmel verés (beating with eyes)
Kurdish chawi geza (eye (of) unluck), châwenî (evil eye), chawi pîs (dirty eye)
Italian, malocchio (bad eye)
Macedonian, "Zlobno Oko" (the evil eye) or "Uroklivo oko" (the cursing eye)
Maltese "l-għajn il-ħażina" (the bad eye)
Norwegian "det onde øyet" (the evil eye)
In Persian various terms can be found, depending on the region. In Iran, people use Ceşm Zaxm (pronounced ”Cheshm Zahm”) which means 'harm caused by eye', or Ceşm Šur (pronounced "Cheshm Shoor") meaning 'Sour-Eyed'. In Afghanistan, Dari-speaking people use the terms "nazar" (vision) or "chashmi bad" (bad or evil eye). Tajiki-speakers use the terms "chashmi bad" (bad or evil eye) or simply "chashmi" (derived from the word "chashm", meaning "eye");
Polish złe oko (evil eye) or marne oko
Portuguese, olho gordo (fat eye), quebranto (jinxed/bad luck/breaker), "mau olho" (bad eye) or mau olhado (bad gaze)
Romanian deochi (from the eye)
Russian сглаз (a noun from verb сглазить from noun глаз - "an eye"), дурной глаз ("evil eye", "bad eye")
Sicilian, ucchiatura ("eye activity, look")
Sinhalese eswaha or aswaha
In Slovak little babies are said to have a malady named z očú (from the eyes)
In Spanish, the phrase is mal de ojo (eye curse or eye disease) or simply el ojo (the eye). The act of giving someone mal de ojo is called ojear (literally to eye) in several South American countries.
Swedish "det onda ögat" (the evil eye)
Tagalog "ohiya" or mata ng diablo (the devil's eye)
Tamil "Dhrishti" or Kan dhristi Kannooru கண்ணூறு(the eyes of evil looks)
Turkish "Nazar" (stare) or "kem göz" (evil eye) or simply "göz" (eye)
Urdu "buri nazar" or simply "nazar" ("bad gaze" or simply "gaze")
Yiddish aynore or ahore (from Hebrew עין הרע cayin harac)
Follow our blog for more information on the evil eye including the evolution of the evil eye belief through the history, its effects on religious beliefs and cultures. The sheer power of the evil eye has shaped many beliefs and therefore lives throughout history and although many other beliefs that were labeled 'superstitious' over the years have come and gone, the belief in the evil eye has remained strong especially in certain cultures. JEYLA's blog as well as sponsored sites explore the world of the evil eye.