A facepalm (sometimes also face-palm or face palm) is the physical gesture of placing one's hand flat across one's face or lowering one's face into one's hand or hands. The gesture is found in many cultures as a display of frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, shock, surprise or just plain sarcasm.
The gesture is not of recent origin, and although common, is not culturally universal. Images of stockbrokers facepalming have also been widely used in the media to convey the dismay associated with poor financial performance, and a wide variety of regrettable film, business, and political decisions have been described as facepalms or "facepalm moments". According to Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent, this versatility is one of the reasons that the word has been linguistically "successful".
This gesture is not unique to humans. A group of mandrills at the Colchester Zoo has adopted a similar gesture to signal the desire to avoid social interaction or to be left alone.
See also 
- ^ Maxwell, Kerry (4 Jul 2011). "facepalm". BuzzWord. Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ a b c Taylor, Kimberly Hayes (9 Aug 2011). "Stressed brokers can't keep their hands off their faces. Why?". The Body Odd. MSNBC. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ Kamer, Foster (5 Aug 2011). "Wall Street’s Facepalm Friday: World’s Front Pages Inevitably Feature Finance’s Great Faces of Agony". The New York Observer. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ Vaux, Rob (30 Jun 2011). "Biggest Transformers Face Palm Moments". Mania. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ Paczkowski, John (21 Nov 2011). "Double FacePalm: HP Blew Billions on webOS". All Things Digital. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ Rawlinson, Linnie (28 Apr 2010). "'Bigotgate' goes viral as UK PM says *facepalm*". UK Election Blog. CNN. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ Evans, Jon (30 Jul 2011). "Technology + Politics = Facepalm". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 Nov 2011.
- ^ Malik, Shiv (23 Nov 2011). "Lexicographers cram 'squeezed middle' into word of the year slot". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 Nov 2011.
- ^ Laidre, M. E. (2011). "Meaningful Gesture in Monkeys? Investigating whether Mandrills Create Social Culture". In Brosnan, Sarah Frances. PLoS ONE 6 (2): e14610. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014610. PMC 3032724. PMID 21311591.