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Facepalm: Wikis

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Male demonstrating the facepalm gesture

A facepalm is a gesture used as an expression of embarrassment[1], frustration[1], disbelief, disgust or general woe.

There are two ways in which it is used:

  • Physical gesture
    1. To bring the palm of the hand to the face
    2. To bring the face down to a cupped hand or hands.[1] [2]
  • Written use
    Primarily used in text communication on the Internet (often as *facepalm*, m([3] [4] or similar) when it is generally used to show embarrassment or disbelief, but is also used in personal communication.

One of the earliest examples of its public use is in a photograph of Jim Horne, a model, whose use typified the "disgust" aspect.

An example of its use in popular culture is seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Jean-Luc Picard more than once expresses disbelief using this gesture. Captioned pictures of such images are a frequent internet meme.

A similar expression, usually used only online, is "headdesk", as in the person banging their head against their desk in frustration.

References

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