Is there a single word or a phrase for conspiratorially exchanging glances when someone does something inappropriate?

  • 3
    a "knowing" glance.
    – Mitch
    Jan 27, 2015 at 22:26

4 Answers 4


They exchanged looks.

It doesn't specifically convey judgment of something inappropriate, just a silent exchange between people. But is a common use of the phrase that two people "exchange looks" to keep a mutual judgment silent.


"complicit glances", not an idiom but may describe what you are looking for.

complicit (adj) "Involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong" ODO

"Every now and then they would exchange complicit glances."


You could also use the more contemporary expression "side eye".


Although I agree with Mitch's "a knowing glance", I think I prefer the lesser-syllabic "a knowing look".

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post.
    – Drew
    Jan 30, 2015 at 4:35
  • My answer is "a knowing look". And I also gave credit to Mitch, who wrote "a knowing glance", and from whom I am not asking for any clarification. Jan 30, 2015 at 15:44
  • However you provide no rationale for your answer. Jan 30, 2015 at 17:53

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