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Dozy Dusty and Other Names for Hardened Periocular Discharge

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Damien from New York City, NY, is curious about the term his Hungarian grandmother used for the crust that forms at the corners of your eyes after a night’s sleep. The Hungarian word for eye boogers is csipa, pronounced “CHEE-pah.” Csipa means “gum” or “gooeyness,” and csipás szemek means “gummy eyes.” Other Hungarian words for “rheum” or “mucus” include takony, nyálka, and slejm. The word csipa may have been borrowed into Hungarian from a Turkic language. Turkish word çapak, pronounced “chah-PAHK,” which means the same thing. In German, Augenbutter or “eye butter,” is applied to that yellow crust, as is a word that translates as “sleep sand.” In French, it’s chassie, from a Latin word that means “poop.” The Portuguese synonym remela may derive from the word mel, meaning “honey,” cognate with Spanish miel. Older Scots terms include rack and garr. English equivalents include sleepy buds, dozy dust, sleepy men, sleepy winks, crusties, as well as gound and the medical term hardened periocular discharge. This is part of a complete episode.

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