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A Glasgow smile (also known as a Glasgow grin, Anna grin, Chelsea grin or Chelsea smile) is a nickname for the result of cutting a victim's face from the edges of the mouth to the ears.[1][2][3] The cut – and the scars it leaves – form an extension of what resembles a smile. Sometimes to further hurt or even kill the victim, he or she would then be stabbed or kicked, most notably in the stomach (or in case of kicking, the groin), so that the face would be ripped apart when the victim screamed. The practice originated in the Scottish city of Glasgow, which gave it its name. It also became popular in Chelsea, London (where it is known as a "Chelsea grin") and other areas of Britain, for gangs hoping to leave a message to rival gang members. If cut deep enough, the victim may bleed to death.

Mutilation of this kind is commonly inflicted with a utility knife, glass or bottle.[4]

Uses in murders

The Black Dahlia was given a Glasgow smile during her murder.

Uses in fiction and entertainment

  • Character actor Tommy Flanagan, noted for scars on his face, received the Glasgow smile after being jumped outside a bar at which he worked as a DJ.
  • In the game Army of Two, Phillip Clyde appears at the beginning of the final level, with scars from a Glasgow smile not present in earlier levels of the game, earning him the nickname "Smiley." No explanation is given as to where or why he received it.
  • In the movie The Dark Knight, the character Joker has scars from a Glasgow smile for which he gives varying explanations throughout the film. He also holds a knife to the corner of Rachel Dawes' mouth as if to inflict a Glasgow smile.
  • At the end of the book Fight Club, the narrator is left with a Glasgow smile, one side the result of a challenging an entire fight club, the other side a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
  • In the movie and manga, Ichi the Killer, the character Kakihara has slits, held together with piercings, left from a self-inflicted Glasgow smile.
  • The American deathcore band Chelsea Grin is named after this torture method.
  • Slipknot guitarist James Root wears a mask that gives his face the appearance of one scarred by a Glasgow smile.
  • The ELAS leader Hector in Captain Corelli's Mandolin is accused by General Myers of unnecessary atrocities performed against villagers in Greece: "castration, tearing out eyes, and slitting the mouth so that they die smiling".
  • Captain Vidal from Pan's Labyrinth was given one after his fight with Mercedes.
  • In the film Pontypool, character Laurel-Ann Drummond appears with a Glasgow smile after being infected by a virus, assumedly self-inflicted.
  • In the Alex Rider book Stormbreaker, Herod Sayle's butler Mr. Grin has a Glasgow smile as the result of a knife-throwing act gone wrong in the circus where Mr. Grin worked.
  • In a Japanese urban legend,Kuchisake-Onna,a mysterious woman wielding a pair of shear-like scissors and wearing a surgical mask covoring her mouth witch was cut on the edges,emulating a Glasgow smile.She was also given the nickname The Slit-Mouthed Woman
  • In the FX TV Series Nip/Tuck, the third season antagonist "The Carver" carved a glasgow smile into each one of his victims faces.

In the Victor Hugo novel "The Man who laughs", the surgery performed by the Comprachicos (kids-thieves) is, among other things, a Glasgow smile: "a mouth opening to his ears, ears folding over to his eyes, a shapeless nose to support the spectacles of the grimace maker, and a face that no one could look upon without laughing. [...] According to all appearance, industrious manipulators of children had worked upon his face. It seemed evident that a mysterious and probably occult science, which was to surgery what alchemy was to chemistry, had chiselled his flesh, evidently at a very tender age, and manufactured his countenance with premeditation. That science, clever with the knife, skilled in obtusions and ligatures, had enlarged the mouth, cut away the lips, laid bare the gums, distended the ears, cut the cartilages, displaced the eyelids and the cheeks, enlarged the zygomatic muscle, pressed the scars and cicatrices to a level, turned back the skin over the lesions whilst the face was thus stretched, from all which resulted that powerful and profound piece of sculpture, the mask, Gwynplaine."

References

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Noun

Singular
Glasgow smile

Plural
Glasgow smiles

Glasgow smile (plural Glasgow smiles)

  1. A facial scar received from being cut on the edge of the mouth, resembling an extended smile.
    • 2006 June, The Times, "Third World Scouts to aid Glasgow poor",
      Here they will become acquainted with the city’s endemic crime, random violence and such terms as “a Glasgow kiss” (a head butt) and “a Glasgow smile” (a mouth extended with a cut).
    • 2007, Harland Miller, International Lonely Guy[1], page 118:
      To promote the bid they had this slogan, 'Glasgow Smiles Better', which, when you consider what a Glasgow smile is, is a pretty negative association to make.

Synonyms

  • Chelsea grin
  • Chelsea smile

See also


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