New Word #50: Facial Expressions

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countenance: A person’s face or facial expression.

grin: smile broadly, especially in an unrestrained manner and with the mouth open.

beam: a radiant or good-natured look or smile.

grimace: an ugly, twisted expression on a person’s face, typically expressing disgust, pain, or wry amusement.

frown: form an expression of disapproval, displeasure, or concentration, typically by turning down the corners of the mouth.

glower: have an angry or sullen look on one’s face

pout: push one’s lips or one’s bottom lip forward as an expression of petulant annoyance

browbeat: This is not a word for a facial expression, but I can’t help including it since it contains “brow”. It means intimidate (someone), typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

snarl: A snarl is a sound, often a growl or vicious utterance, often accompanied by a facial expression, where the upper lip is raised, and the nostrils widen, generally indicating hate, anger or pain

yawn: involuntarily open one’s mouth wide and inhale deeply due to tiredness or boredom.

scowl: an angry or bad-tempered expression.

smirk: smile in an irritatingly smug, conceited, or silly way.

simper: smile in an affectedly coy or ingratiating manner.

sneer: a contemptuous or mocking smile, remark, or tone.

leer: look or gaze in an unpleasant, malicious, or lascivious way.

guffaw: a loud, unrestrained burst of laughter.

smile (or grin) from ear to ear: have a big smile

tight-lipped: with the lips firmly closed, especially as a sign of suppressed emotion or determined reticence.

ruddy: (of a person’s face) having a healthy red color.

jaundice: Jaundice is a condition in which the skin, sclera (whites of the eyes) and mucous membranes turn yellow.

13 thoughts on “New Word #50: Facial Expressions

  1. Great words and corresponding expressions. 🙂
    They say one should try to stay away from such words while writing dialogue. The effect of the character’s expression and way of speaking should be in the words and the narrative itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That really sounds like what I have observed. Nobody uses them very much at all to describe a person or a conversation. I have always suspected that there are certain written or unwritten rules to prefer some words and avert others, and as you pointed out I am convinced that such rules really exist. I guess this is another occasion that I don’t understand why but I just have to follow it–whatever the native speakers feel I will honor. Somehow it might have something to do with the language aesthetics–it just doesn’t look cool to use them for whatever strange reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t worry too much about it. As you keep writing, you’ll keep this in my mind and it’ll automatically begin showing in your writing. I had to act upon this too. I’ve seen that some of my older writing has a little too much of it.
        Show and don’t tell – is the theory behind it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to say English has its little quirks and its inexplicable adherence to certain unwritten standards. Other languages are not so particular on the stylish issues. Just my observation.

          Liked by 1 person

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