English Idioms

Translation wanted

Hello everybody,
I've desperatly seeked the english translation of the idiom "avoir le compas dans l'oeil".
May I find it here ?
Thank you for your help.


  • Dear Venus,

    Have you been desperately looking for this expression on Mars?

    Here it is: to be a good judge of distances or measurements OR more simply to have an accurate eye.

    Do you know that Michelangelo is said to have invented this expression?

    Other GGusers may come along with a different translation.

    It was a pleasure.
  • I for one prefer Silky's first translation, i.e. to be a good judge of distances or measurements.
    Why? Because French have got Michelangelo's compasses into their eye. It's the pair of compasses made of two pointed branches joined at the top by a pivot that are notably used by plastic artists.

    To have an accurate eye is much more general in its extensive interpretation. It could as well translate "avoir un oeil de faucon".

    I think that this French idiom hasn't any correspondent in English. That's why, if you obviouly want to keep being obstinate at banning any import of well-drawn French idiom, you had better using describing sentences to make your idea enough accurate in that wretched English.

  • In Belgium one may also say

    "Avoir l'oeil américain"

    Yes, many Belgians speak French, or believe they do.

  • Or also "oeil de linx"...
    Mauritians (people from Mauritius island) also believe they can speak French!

  • Hi everybody,
    This idiom has nothing to do whith sight.
    You are said to "avoir le compas dans l'oeil" if you're able to correctly appreciate a distance, measurements, symetry ...
    For example : you park your car in one stretch although the free place was particularly tiny ...

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