cry face

From Matt Adams on Facebook 12/26/10:

Why can’t I resist watching the last 20 minutes of sad movies? Damn you Family Stone. Now I’m off to work with total cry face!

Huge number of raw ghits for cry face. And there are images, lots of them.

Here’s a cry face icon:

and here’s James Van der Beek, as Dawson Leery of Dawson’s Creek, doing a cry face:

Cry face is pretty clearly a V + N compound, and in Adams’s use (with no determiner) it’s clearly a mass noun. A great many occurrences have cry face with a possessive (as in “Dawson’s ugly cry face”) and could be either mass or count.

There are other V + face compounds denoting facial expressions, for instance large numbers of laugh face and some of smirk face as well (again with icons and photos). And then there’s come face ‘facial expression during orgasm’ (and an alternative O-face), discussed at some length in a 2006 Language Log posting. (Read that posting before you comment on come face and O-face and their variants.)

2 Responses to “cry face”

  1. Power postcard « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] power, scratch power, push power, stroke power, massage power. (On some V + N compounds, see this posting on cry face and its relatives and this mention of fish house, wash house, and the […]

  2. face compounds « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] (For another face X compound, see my recent posting on faceman; the OED has face-man only in the sense ‘a miner who works at the face of a mine’. Then there are compounds of the form X face: O face and come face here, cry face and the like here.) […]

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