Seeing is Understanding. Knowing is Possessing.

  • Description of motion:  Both hands cover eyes as if there is something you don't want to see.  Sometimes hands slide down face and are put back into motion.
  • Date Observed: 12/24/14 at dinner party.  Many people seated at table (10-12)
  • Example:  A:  "Did you see the way Gina was acting at that party last night?"   B:  (Hands cover eyes in response) 
  • Use:  This can be used literally when there is something disgusting that we don't want to look at, or metaphorically, when there is an idea that we find objectionable, repulsive, bewildering, etc.  Can be used without language, as a means of expressing disbelief/bewilderment.
  • Metaphor:  Ideas are Objects.  Seeing is Understanding. Knowing is Possessing.  
  • Explanation:  The metaphor here is that since Seeing is Understanding and Knowing is Possessing, we cover our eyes since we don't want to posses that piece of information inside of us. Also since Seeing is Understanding we cover our eyes to show a lack of understanding, typically in relation to someone else's behavior.  We don't see, so we don't understand.
  • Origin:  We often hear the quote, "Possession is 9/10ths of the law."  What this implies is that owning is very relational to possessing.  If I have a knife on my person, I possess the knife.  I might go as far to say that I own it.  When I know something such as, "The capital of the United States is Washington D.C."  I also think of it as a possession that I own. 
  • Sound:  Sometimes is accompanied by an exhaustive sound such as "Uh".