English [ edit ]
Alternative forms [ edit ]
a large number of alternative forms exist, e.g. "all closed eyes aren't sleeping", using "ain't", or using "closed" instead of "shut" and "sleep" or "sleeping" instead of "asleep", or pluralizing "eye" to "eyes" (at which point "all" is used instead of "every" and "aren't" is used instead of "isn't")
Proverb [ edit ]
every shut eye isn't asleep
( especially African American Vernacular ) One must be careful, because some people who seem not to be paying attention are actually paying attention.
1994, Michael S. Harper, Anthony Walton, Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry ISBN 0316347124
2006, Lisa Walker, Every Shut Eye Ain't Sleep ISBN 0595834590
2006, Sabrina Nixon, Victims of Change, , page 150: ISBN 1449094724
The other girls appeared to be sleeping through it as well, but there's an old saying that says every closed eye isn't sleeping.
2007, Patricia Barbee, Every Shut Eye Isn't Asleep ISBN 0595868495
2007, Monica McKayhan, Indigo Summer, , page 125: ISBN 1552549097
“Hi, Daddy. I thought you were asleep.” “ All closed eyes aren't sleep, baby,” he said, and peeped at his watch.
2011, Teresa Hill, Every Closed Eye Ain't Sleep: African American Perspectives ISBN 1610481046