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October 1, 2006



Wow- I just stumbled into this article today (2018) so apparently it took me 12 years to get here! I feel a little like Roy Hobbs...

If it's still of interest, the phrase "espejuelos de Mahoma" is a phrase that was common in the Caribbean in the XIX century, originally from the Northeast of Spain. This comes from the game of 'Quina'- basically a form of Bingo where the person that oversees the game doesn't call out the numbers, instead he uses play on words to slow down the players and make them think what's the number being called (or trip them altogether). So in Quina, number 88 is known as "Mohammed's glasses" because if you take the numbers and turn them horizontally they look like glasses; two 8's are said to represent Mohammed because of the way he looked at the world, almost with an infinite viewpoint (don't ask me, I'm not Muslim). That's how the phrase got co-opted in street parlance to say that someone wears glasses.

Also- you are right about four eyes being a common phrase as well- just as the above, it's another way of saying someone wears glasses since he has 'four-eyes' (2 of his own plus the 2 from the glasses). As you can see, Spanish uses a lot of phrases to make the language colorful (no pun intended).

Hope this helps!

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