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I came across the following sentence in a technical documentation that explains about integration with HTTP protocol. What does "rolled your eyes" mean here?


If you’re a developer you’re likely fairly familiar with this protocol — you may have even rolled your eyes at the sight of it — but it’s worth mentioning to emphasize our integration’s dependency on proper, well-formed HTTP requests.

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An example emote in animated gif form: whitefyre.com/rolleyes.gif – horatio Feb 10 '11 at 15:30
It would also be interesting to know whether this phrase is of American origin. – ShreevatsaR Feb 10 '11 at 17:56
And also the gesture, for that matter. – ShreevatsaR Feb 10 '11 at 18:02
Well i rolled my eyes at a teacher and i got in trouble becuse of nothing its dump to get in trouble for that!!! – user28683 Oct 19 '12 at 0:38
@horatio - My antivirus (McAfee) gives me a big red warning about following that link. Do you have one that is less risky? Thanks. – chasly from UK Aug 13 '15 at 11:36
up vote 10 down vote accepted

You (quite literally) roll your eyes when you don't believe something or don't care about it. In this particular case, it is implied that you might be so familiar with the protocol that it's all old news to you. It's all over the place, nothing special, so seeing it yet again makes you roll your eyes.

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Well, not very literally. "I was working on a case. It had to be a case, because I couldn't afford a desk. Then I saw her. This tall blond lady. She must have been tall because I was on the third floor. She rolled her deep blue eyes towards me. I picked them up and rolled them back. We kissed. She screamed. I took the cigarette from my mouth and kissed her again." etc. – ShreevatsaR Feb 10 '11 at 18:00
@ShreevatsaR: "Roll eyes toward..." and such have significantly different meaning from "Rolling eyes"(,period.) just as "throwing something up" has a different meaning from "throwing up." – SF. Oct 19 '12 at 8:23
Is there any other word for 'rolling eyes'? I mean for the same kind of expression or feeling. – Glänzende Perlen Feb 21 '14 at 15:20

Roll eyes means turn (one's eyes) upward, typically to show surprise or disapproval.

Sarah rolled her eyes.

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More than that, to me it's "being annoyed with something unworthy/plainly dumb/obvious" or expressing something like "Told ya!" – o0'. Feb 10 '11 at 17:31
(stupid parser is stupid) – o0'. Feb 10 '11 at 17:31

I've never seen this phrase used in the context of technical documentation. The phrase is often used specifically in the context of teenagers rolling their eyes at something their parents, or another authority figure, is saying. Given this context I believe the sense of "rolling your eyes" includes a connotation of silent resistance, or only grudging acceptance, of that authority figure's pronouncement. The resistance could be to excessive repetition, or it could be resistance more generally to the right of the speaker to make the statement or issue the instruction that is met with rolling eyes.

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Yes, you do "roll your eyes" upward to express disbelief.

To the heavens, specifically, as in "Saints preserve us, is this guy for real?!"

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+! Disbelief is usually closest to the true meaning. – Noldorin Feb 10 '11 at 16:52
Specifically, not amazed disbelief or doubtful disbelief, but annoyed, bored, dissenting disbelief. – SF. Oct 19 '12 at 8:25

protected by RegDwigнt Jan 21 '13 at 10:30

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