What is the name for a feeling (name of facial expression much welcome too) you'd experience, when facing someone apparently believing an obvious lie or scam?

"So, imagine this, the guy who came to install Internet, he said for twenty bucks he can add Google to my package, so that I can search the web for free. And for another ten bucks he installed Wikipedia!"

I checked his screen. Indeed, there were two shortcuts on the desktop, one opening the browser on Google.com, and the other on Wikipedia.org.

"Did you really pay thirty bucks for two shortcuts on your desktop?"

If I want to replace speech in the last sentence with just a description of what appears on that person's face, how would you phrase that?

  • 5
    I'd have a look of incredulity on my face, although one can look incredulously at many things, not just profound gullibility.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 10:26
  • 2
    This would be a good discussion for writers.stackexchange.com In terms of your question, are you more interested in a simile or a single word? Which would enhance the passage most for you?
    – tylerharms
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 10:29
  • @tylerharms: They tend to send people with single word requests back here ;) It doesn't have to be a single word - if a concise expression conveys that better, it's perfectly okay.
    – SF.
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 10:40
  • 2
    I agree with SF; sometimes we are too quick to send someone to Writers.SE. I just read their FAQ, and fail to see how this would be a good fit for that forum.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 10:45
  • 1
    @SF: Agreed. Note the use of "would be" in the above comment to suggest that you might also find some usefulness, as would the community, in asking it there. To take a stab at answering it, though, I, personally, would look at the bookmarked pages and sigh a sigh of regret for human frailty.
    – tylerharms
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


My first thought was the same as @J.R.'s. I would be incredulous:

(of a person or their manner) unwilling or unable to believe something:

I might also stare in disbelief, look dumbfounded, or appear blutterbunged with amazement. I would then roll my eyes to convey my disapproval.

roll one's eyes, to turn one's eyes around in different directions or in a circle, especially as an expression of disbelief, annoyance, or impatience: He rolled his eyes when he heard the stupid joke.

Blutterbunged sounds like more of a perfect fit than it actually is.

  • All the words you offered work here. However, I have a feeling the OP has a concept that more profound.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 14:23
  • 2
    @Kris Profound incredulity, profound disbelief, etc. might be the ticket then ;) Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 14:26
  • :) No. I meant the concept was profound not the emotion!
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 14:28
  • They are pretty nice but I guess I meant something more condescending. It's not just being surprised, it's a very disappointed/disapproving kind of surprise.
    – SF.
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 14:44
  • @SF. Updated answer. Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 15:24

Given the scenario, this would work for me:

"Wide-eyed, dropped-jaw, complete and utter disbelief"

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