2

As the title asks, what is the best name for the expression made with the mouth when sad?

To expand, frowning involves furrowing the brow, crying involves... crying. You can look sullen, you can pout or wince but these all convey specific emotions relating to the broader emotion of sadness.

Smiling on the other hand conveys happiness, and the multiple 'sub-emotions' (excitement, contentment, etc) to happiness.

So is there a word that conveys the upturned smile, without being specific to one type of sadness?

EDIT: k1eran suggested adding from my comments that Thesaurus.com offers the antonyms frown and glower, both relating to specific angry emotions. Other sites list, again, either expressions relating to specific versions of sadness, expressions which aren't the opposite of smiles (eg. pursed lips) or just the emotions themselves.

14
  • frown or cry depending on context
    – Slepz
    Sep 30 '16 at 19:42
  • or perhaps pout.
    – Hellion
    Sep 30 '16 at 20:00
  • Adding a word or two suggested as an antonym by a thesaurus would help your case (even if they sound totally inappropriate). Sep 30 '16 at 20:13
  • Thesaurus.com offers the antonyms frown and glower, both relating to specific angry emotions. Other sites list, again, either expressions relating to specific versions of sadness, expressions which aren't the opposite of smiles (eg. pursed lips) or just the emotions themselves.
    – RowanS
    Sep 30 '16 at 20:26
  • 3
    What, pray tell, is wrong with "frown"?
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 1 '16 at 1:04
4

How about sag? Your mouth can sag and your whole face and body, in fact, can sag, when you feel sad.

When your mouth sags, it goes down.

You can also say that your spirit sagged.

I think this is related to being depressed. If you think about a depression being a low spot.

3
  • Mouth sagged is interesting, and I like all the arguments you make for it!
    – RowanS
    Oct 2 '16 at 21:08
  • @RowanS - Do you want to wait and see what else comes in, or do you want to click on the checkmark to "accept" the answer? I'm asking because I think you might be new to Stackexchange. (Glad you found "sag" interesting!) Oct 3 '16 at 0:31
  • I've actually been lurking for a year or so now, this was just the first time I had a question to ask. I wanted to see if any other answers came up, but I'll accept yours for the reasons stated. :)
    – RowanS
    Oct 4 '16 at 17:12
2

I'm not sure I agree with your premise that smile conveys happiness. One could smile sarcastically, wryly, evilly, lustily, etc. That point aside, I would argue, based your premise, that:

Happy is to smile and sad is to smile upside down.

Of course, we've heard the opposite phrase -- "turn that frown upside down" -- in movies and songs. In other words, "Be happy".

3
  • I guess it might not be perfect, but I'd argue all of those examples involve a form of happiness. Smiling sarcastically is an imitation of it, wryly shows amusement, evilly because you're happy about something 'evil', same goes for lustily.
    – RowanS
    Oct 2 '16 at 20:57
  • Upside-down smile... I guess would do in a pinch, it certainly describes it accurately, but I would like to see if there's something else that would work without needing smile as the base.
    – RowanS
    Oct 2 '16 at 21:04
  • @RowanS Thanks. Re your second comment: I understand. Just trying to provide a logical answer that might work for you. Re your first comment: I don't agree that all smiles connote "happiness" as used in your question ("excitement", "contentment", etc.). Perhaps it's just semantics, but I don't see the underlying "sub-emotions" in my examples as conveying "happiness" per se. I could have used other examples, e.g., smiled with disdain, smiled in disbelief, smiled hatefully. It seems to me that both smiles and frowns can convey a variety of mental states beyond simply "happy" and "sad". Oct 2 '16 at 23:23
1

A lugubrious look is a good antonym of a smile. It is very general and can be used relating to a synthetic emotion as can a smile.

It is not a single word and is not as widely known as smile but it is about as close as you can get to a proper antonym.

1
  • It doesn't quite fit, but it is a cool, new, interesting word for me to learn!
    – RowanS
    Oct 7 '16 at 18:30

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