• not akimbo
  • not arabesque
  • ?

I think it's related more towards an ingenue in distress; stage and silent movie era stuff – part of the language of that era.

Today it might be used to imply sappy self-conscious melodrama – as kitsch.

THIS! ---> http://tinyurl.com/mfbh2nq

I believe there is a specific 'technical' word for that pose.


1.) Note: - not “tableau” specifically, although the pose could be held in tableau .

2.) This is the actual link - http://content.lib.washington.edu/cgi-bin/getimage.exe?CISOROOT=/social&CISOPTR=2247&DMSCALE=100.00000&DMWIDTH=800&DMHEIGHT=1004.1841004184&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=&REC=10&DMTHUMB=0&DMROTATE=0

  • 1
    I'm not going to follow a mysterious link while at work... how do I know it's "safe for work"? You could, in fact, post the image using its url. – Cyberherbalist Dec 4 '13 at 21:11
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    I've seen that pose referred to as the “hand-staple-forehead” pose, but usually think of it as an “Alas! she sighed” pose. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Dec 4 '13 at 22:04
  • @jwpat7 - "hand-staple-forehead" - funny. Very good; but they too don't know the 'correct' word. : ) – ipso Dec 4 '13 at 22:21

The closest I can come to an actual name for this pose is a "woe is me!" pose.

(I found a number of references to it by Googling "woe is me" pose)

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    "Woe-is-me" is another good descriptor for what I believe is a specific archaic word that exists out there: hiding, waiting. – ipso Dec 4 '13 at 22:29

Swoon seems to fit nicely!

If you are thinking for a word that may describe a sort of classic theatrical pose you might look towards these words as often used in a theatre context:

Indicating- non-realistic acting.

Distanciation- when actors maintain distance from their character by reminding the audience through often stylized gestures or behavior that they are simply people pretending, instead of trying to identify with their "character".

Brechtian- Stylized theatre that purposefully comes across as unnatural as to remind the audience they are watching a performance.

  • "Glossary of theatrical poses" sounds promising! Great ideas you throw out! Thank you. Still looking... – ipso Dec 4 '13 at 22:13

Dramatic — someone who would react more passionately than the average audience, to any topic/event.


Swoon — "to faint from extreme emotion".

A quick Google Image search brings up similar images.

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    It was a word I had to look up years ago, and I remember being struck that there was a specific word for such a pose. 'Swoon' is a good suggestion, but I believe there is a more exacting one to be found. Thanks. – ipso Dec 4 '13 at 21:58
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    The problem with swoon, although otherwise good, is that it literally means "faint". – Malvolio Dec 4 '13 at 22:27

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