every shut eye isn't asleep

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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")


every shut eye isn't asleep

  1. (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
    • 2006, Lisa Walker, Every Shut Eye Ain't Sleep →ISBN
    • 2006, Sabrina Nixon, Victims of Change, →ISBN, page 150:
      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
    • 2007, Monica McKayhan, Indigo Summer, →ISBN, page 125:
      “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