25 April 2014


There is a word in Malay, sepet, to describe the almond-shaped eyes of East Asians such as Chinese and Japanese. But what's the English equivalent?

My dictionary gives 'narrow eyes', but that doesn't sound like something we would say. My guess is that we actually say 'slitty eyes', but that is clearly perjorative. Maybe 'slant eyes'? My feeling is that that is also insulting. So what is the English equivalent?

I suspect we don't have one, and there is no polite way to describe the shape of eyes of East Asian people. Perhaps there's no real need for such a word!