shit-eating grin love

shit-eating grin


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A broad smile indicating self-awareness that may suggest self-satisfaction, smugness, discomfort, or embarrassment.


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  • a phrase it took me bloody ages to remember. I knew somewhere in my mind there was a phrase somehow complement to 'face like a slapped arse' or 'face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle', both of which use ugliness as something pretty much thrown onto a face by chance (or misfortune or stupidity…)

    The happy complement? I spent a day some weeks ago with an entirely stupid face on thanks to something-or-other ridiculously joyful (I genuinely now don't recall), and had the infuriatingly persistent tip-of-the-tongue/presque vu* moment as to what the word for it actually was, if indeed there was one. I knew it was something like 'happy as a pig in shit', except for faces — and it hit me just now, as they do. Aha!

    Interestingly there's this distinction (courtesy of Wiktionary):

    The term is ambiguous and may indicate either a genuine broad smile (e.g. smug happiness) or a fake broad smile (e.g. trying to hide or get away with something).
    Smug and fake are two sides, but I've a feeling there might be another — an obliviously happy beaming which'd indicate you might as well be eating shit since you don't know what you're doing, or that you do know and you're still happy about it. Exactly that kind of overwhelming blitheness. I might have mistakenly transferred this meaning over from pig in shit (any thoughts?) but I'm happy enough to've resolved that pesky presque vu.

    exit stage right wearing shit-eating grin

    *this phrase is actually a presque vu for me in itself!

    September 29, 2010