The Evil Eye Meaning [A Complete Guide]

evil eye talisman cover photo

The evil eye goes back ages and ages through time. Below I will go into details about it you might never have known and others maybe you did know about. Hope you learn something new with our complete guide to the evil eye symbol including the evil eye meaning, the history behind it, different names for evil eye and colors of the evil eye and their meanings.

What does the evil eye mean?

Universally it’s known as a symbol of protection against evil.

The Greeks called it the Mati which is essentially a curse given to anyone who has a malicious glare, and would cause bad luck or even illness to those with bad intentions. If someone has negative thoughts about you or wishes you harm, it is recommended you wear the evil eye for protection. This is why you should wear one at all times because it will ward off any negative intentions anyone has about you and protect you  at all times.

It was believed that the evil eye is most threatening to those who are prideful of their money, fame or power and that Gods and Goddesses used the evil eye as a punishment to those people to bring them back down to earth at the same level as mortals.

Generally it’s used to ward off malicious intent of others and is basically a protection against negative energies.

Evil Eye Guide: history, meaning, colors, examples

The history of the evil eye

The evil eye dates back to at least 1250BC in ruins of modern-day Syria. Later it was found being used widely by the Greeks and Romans. To date, it has had an influence in almost every country and religion including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Judaism and Christianity.

The superstition behind the evil eye

There are some cultures that fear the evil eye. Because of this, there have been objects specifically created to use against the evil eye in certain parts of the world.

In Islamic culture, the evil eye was mentioned in Book 26 of the Shahi Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad - it was said that one must take a bath to protect themselves from the influences of evil forces.

In India there is high superstition around the evil eye. Eyes are known as the most powerful part of the human body according to Hinduism. Therefore the evil eye is feared due to the belief of the amount of power behind the evil in the eye. A way to counteract the effects is to have a bowl of milk according to Indian tradition.

Displaying the symbol

It’s a talisman or amulet that is in the shape of an eye, and a lot of times round. The traditional colors are blues or greens, which symbolize spiritual protection - but the evil eye is in all different colors and each color symbolizes something a little different. (We go into more detail about each color below.)

The evil eyes come in different shapes and forms. They can be pendants, bracelets, rings, earrings, a tattoo, a wall hanging, or a glass bead that hangs over the main door of your home.

Different names of Evil Eye

The name of the Evil Eye might be different from country to country or language to language, but the general meanings will be the same. Here is a handful of the names in other countries.

  • syri i keq, syni keq or mësysh in Albanian
  • eayan alsharu in Arabic
  • char atchk in Armenian
  • 邪眼 (xié yǎn) in Chinese
  • buda in Ethiopian
  • mauvais œil in French
  • böser blick in German
  • mati in Greek
  • ayin hara in Hebrew
  • szemmelverés (eye beating) in Hungarian
  • dengki in Indonesian
  • droch shùil in Irish
  • malocchio in Italian
  • 邪視 (jashi) in Japanese
  • Nazar, Buri Nazar, Disti, Drusti, Drishti, or Kannu in India (Hindi & Sanskrit)
  • oko proroka (prophetic eyes) in Polish
  • olho mau in Portuguese
  • olho gordo (fat eyes) in Portuguese
  • deochi (By-eye) in Romanian
  • jicho baya in Swahili
  • ondaögat in Swedish
  • mal de ojo in Spanish

Different evil eye colors:

evil eye different colors guide infographic

Dark blue evil eye meaning: The color provides karma protection and helps better your communication skills. It also provides relaxation and calming effects.

Light blue evil eye meaning: One of the most popular colors. Provides solitude and peace and will broaden your perspective on things in your life.

Dark green evil eye meaning: Can help with life balance and adding more happiness to your life. Will inspire you to go after any dreams you’ve been thinking of.

Light green evil eye meaning: Good health, happiness and success comes with this color.

Pink evil eye meaning: The friendship eye which brings contentment and calm feelings.

Red evil eye meaning: Provides an abundance of enthusiastic energy along with some courage. It will also protect you from anxieties or fears you might have.

Orange evil eye meaning: For protection & happiness. It can also motivate you to be more creative and joyful.

Gold or Yellow evil eye meaning: This is the eye for health benefits. Mental health especially as it helps boost your concentration and mental energy.

Brown evil eye meaning: This eye helps align your life into order and structure. It also helps connect you with nature, while helping keep you safe from the elements.

Purple evil eye meaning: This eye is all about balance and will remove any obstacles in your way. It can help expand your imagination.

Grey evil eye meaning: The grey evil eye will help open your perspective in new situation. It also reduces the intensity of another color.

White evil eye meaning: Provides more focus and a push for starting anew. Can help with mental obstacles and get you going on a new journey in life.

Evil eye as a modern day symbol

The evil eye symbol has become a trendy symbol in fashion, jewelry, art, etc. You can pretty much find it anywhere and people of all ages displaying the symbol.

Just a search for the hashtag #evileye on instagram gives almost 2 million results. That's outstanding and just shows the popularity of the symbol.

You'll find the eye on not just jewelry and clothing, but everything from candles to baby onesies!

Evil Eye as Body Art

Below I will share some galleries of evil eye in jewelry, evil eye in nail art and evil eye in tattoos - all modern ways of displaying the symbol on the body.

Evil eye in jewelry

It's becoming more and more popular to wear jewelry with the evil eye symbol on it. Charms, pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings can all carry the symbol to protect you from negative energy.

Find your favorite kind of jewelry on amazon or etsy, or in a cool chic store in your town to adorn and protect yourself.

Evil eye in nail art

Another way to showcase the symbol is with nail art designs. It's become popular to have the evil eye hand-painted on your nails. Or, you could find nail stamps or nail stickers with the symbol if you don't want to hand-draw it.  Here are some good examples of evil eye in nail art designs.

Evil eye tattoo

Another way to adorn the evil eye symbol is through tattoos. I think the symbol has become popular for blocking negative energy from others and therefore people will adorn it anywhere on their bodies.

You can find evil eye tattoo ideas on pinterest and instagram showcasing evil eye tattoos on hands, wrists, fingers, chest, ribs, ankles, arms, forearms, back of neck, behind the ear and so many other places. The designs I found were all unique and in different forms and colors, as you can see in my gallery below.

How to Display the Evil Eye Symbol at Home

Another way to display the symbol for protection is to use evil eye amulets you can hang on your walls in your home.

A good location in your home is in the main doorway where whoever comes into your home will see it. Or on your doorway to your bedroom.

It's best to have it at eye level or in a place where it will be easily seen.

An evil eye doormat is a good example for those guests who arrive at your home.

evil eye doormat picture
available at

This macrame dream catcher style evil eye art piece would be a beautiful piece of art for your home.

macrame evil eye dream catcher
available at

A metal and glass evil eye amulet is a great art piece to hang above your doorway to ward off the negative energies.

evil eye amulet for above your doorway
available at

Hamsa Symbol + Evil Eye Symbol

You might be wondering about the evil eye hand meaning. The Hamsa Hand is a universal sign of protection against evil. Its main purpose is to unite and gather the good positive energy, and block the negative bad energy.

When worn facing downwards, it symbolizes being open to all the good in the universe, welcoming prosperity and luck.

If worn with the hand facing up (usually with the evil eye symbol), it’s symbolized as an “anti-evil eye” protecting the wearer from bad energy and bad luck.

Hamsa Hand symbol - anti-evil eye symbol with evil eye on hand.
image via Ripley Elisabeth Brown


Whether you're a big fan of the evil eye symbol or you believe it to be a myth, that is up to you. We hope you found this guide helpful to understanding the history of the evil eye, the evil eye meaning including the different colors and the different examples of how to adorn or display the evil eye in your life.