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beetle-browed Having prominent, shaggy eyebrows; scowling, sullen. Although the exact origin of this expression is unknown, it has been suggested that the reference is to the short-tufted antennae, analogous to eyebrows, protruding at right angles from the head of some types of beetles. The phrase appeared in William Langland’s Piers Plowman in 1362.
bug-eyed See SURPRISE.
fish eye A blank or quizzical gaze; a hostile stare. The vacuity of piscine eyes is clearly the source of this phrase. The following illustration is cited in Webster’s Third:
I saw you guys giving me the fish eye … so I ran.
gag-tooth A projecting tooth; a buck-tooth. Gag-toothed dates from the 16th century and is rarely heard today. The current word for such a condition is bucktoothed.
If she be gag-toothed tell her some merry jest to make her laugh. (John Lyly, Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit, 1579)
grin like a Cheshire cat To grin broadly and mysteriously; to be constantly smiling widely for no apparent reason. The phrase usually carries connotations of smugness or vacuousness. The expression, which dates from the late 18th century, gained currency because of the perpetually grinning cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The phrase appeared in response to Alice’s question as to why the Duchess’ cat grinned so broadly and inscrutably:
“It’s a Cheshire cat,” said the Duchess, “and that’s why.”
like an owl in an ivy bush With a vacant, dumb look; with an empty stare, such as some people have when drunk. This expression plays on the fact that the ivy bush is the favorite haunt of the owl, known for its wisdom and solemnity; it is also the favorite plant of Bacchus, the god of wine. Rarely heard today, this expression dates from the early 17th century.
“Pr’y thee, how did the fool look?” “Look! Egad, he look’d for all the world like an owl in an ivy bush.” (Jonathan Swift, Polite Conversation, 1738)
poker face An expressionless face; a visage which does not reveal one’s thoughts or emotions; a dead pan. In poker, it is essential that a player not tip his hand by showing emotion in his face, lest the other players bet accordingly and thus limit his winnings or increase his losses. Though still applicable to the card game, poker face is also used figuratively in many varied contexts.
He glanced around the circle and found poker faces, but there was a light in Baldy’s eyes that warmed him. (Clarence Mulford, Rustler’s Valley, 1924)
widow’s peak A V-shaped hairline in the middle of the forehead. It was once customary for a widow to wear a black hat which had a “peak,” a triangular piece of material that extended down on the forehead, as if pointing at the nose. A similar looking hairline came to be known as a “widow’s peak” by association.
She had on her forehead what is sometimes denominated a “widow’s peak”—that is to say, her hair grew down to a point in the middle. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh, A Tale, 1849)
A related expression, widow’s lock, describes a lock or tuft of hair that grows apart from the rest of the hair on the head. The term alludes to an ancient superstitious belief that a woman with such a stray shock of hair would be widowed soon after marriage.
|Noun||1.||visage - the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British)|
human head - the head of a human being
face, human face - the front of the human head from the forehead to the chin and ear to ear; "he washed his face"; "I wish I had seen the look on his face when he got the news"
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
|2.||visage - the appearance conveyed by a person's face; "a pleasant countenance"; "a stern visage"|
expression, look, face, facial expression, aspect - the feelings expressed on a person's face; "a sad expression"; "a look of triumph"; "an angry face"
poker face - a face without any interpretable expression (as that of a good poker player)