Akanbe (あかんべえ Akanbē), also spelled Akkanbee (あっかんべー, アッカンベー), is a Japanese facial gesture indicating sarcasm but also used as a taunt. It consists of someone pulling down one's lower eyelid to expose the red underside towards someone, often accompanied by the person sticking their tongue out. It is considered an immature taunting gesture.
The use of the term was first mentioned by early 20th century author Katai Tayama, in his 1909 story Inaka Kyōshi (田舎教師, "Rural Teacher"), as a gesture used by the male students in the story. In the story, it gives the etymology as a corruption of akai me (赤い目, "red eye").
The statement "my eye" is also an archaic term of disbelief in English, though without the physical gesture. One may respond to an incredible claim of "That was an accident" with "Accident, my eye!".
In Popular Culture
The Pokémon anime has used the akanbe several times, with Team Rocket being the characters who use it the most (usually when trying to escape from Ash Ketchum after they steal someone else's Pokémon and when Ash pursues them). Other characters have also used it, including Gary Oak and Officer Jenny.
- Akihiko Yonekawa. Beyond Polite Japanese. Tokyo:Kodansha International, 2001. Print, p. 133. https://books.google.com/books?id=MCDAP7wOOswC
- "Lesson 7 ボディ・ランゲージ Gestures". Gakko Tosho. 2003. Archived from the original on January 27, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Mon œil!
The French expression mon œil ! is used to express either incredulous/ironic disbelief, like the English expressions "my foot!" or "yeah, right!", or an almost indignant refusal, as in "no way!" or "ain't gonna happen!"
- Word Wizard: My eye! / My foot!
- 1842 “Church, MY EYE, woman! church indeed!”—‘Handy Andy’ by S. Lover
- 1905 “‘Tragic, MY EYE!’ said my friend irreverently.”—in ‘Works’ of O. Henry
- 1928 “Gentlemen, ME EYE! You’ve got to get over being gentleman if you’re going to play football on my team!”—in ‘Sport’ by Paxton
- 1929 ‘How about Bigelow's Mill . .. that's a factory.’ ‘Factory MY EYE.’”—‘The Sound and the Fury’ by Faulkner
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