From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Akanbe example

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.[1]

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").[2]

Mon œil[edit]

In France, the gesture of pulling down one's lower eyelid and saying mon œil, or "my eye", is an expression of disdainful, dismissive disbelief.[3]

The statement "my eye" is also an archaic term of disbelief in English, though without the physical gesture. For example, one may respond to an incredible claim of "That was an accident" with "Accident, my eye!"[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Akihiko Yonekawa. Beyond Polite Japanese. Tokyo:Kodansha International, 2001. Print, p. 133. https://books.google.com/books?id=MCDAP7wOOswC
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ 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!"
  4. ^ 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