Take the 2-minute tour ×
French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am reading Alexander Dumas' “La Reine Margot” and came across this phrase:

Le roi de Navarre ne voit rien de cela car, de son côté, il mange des yeux Madame de Sauve…

In the context, it seems like it would mean that the king is being stared at by Madame de Sauve, but I'm not completely sure.

share|improve this question
    
The meaning is pretty much equivalent to “he only has eyes for her”. –  Gilles Nov 11 '12 at 18:59
3  
But this would be "il n'a d'yeux que pour elle", not quite the same eagerness or intensity. –  Stéphane Gimenez Nov 11 '12 at 22:59
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Literally, the king eats Madame de Sauve with his eyes. That's an idiom meaning he stares at her, pleasingly, hungeringly, maybe even, to stay in the “edible” domain.

Depending on the context, this can often have heavy implications (maybe with the eyes is enough for now, and later on you know what I mean).

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks so much! –  qegal Nov 11 '12 at 18:46
add comment

I'll throw, adding to Gildas' comment, that the idiom can be varied a lot by replacing manger. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if dévorer des yeux was more common.

The somewhat related idiom manger avec les yeux is fairly common, referring to how food's aspect influences the consumer.

share|improve this answer
    
This was very helpful, but I feel like Gildas more directly answered my question. –  qegal Nov 11 '12 at 18:47
add comment

He is starring at her because he finds her attractive, sexy.

As Circeux mentioned, "dévorer" is more common now: "dévorer des yeux".

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.