or face palm or face-palm
verb (used without object)
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Words nearby facepalm
What does facepalm mean?
Where does facepalm come from?
While the gesture is much older, the term facepalm is recorded as early as 1996. In 2001, a forum user notably posted “<facepalm>doh!<facepalm>” in mock internet markup language.
Urban Dictionary entered facepalm in 2004, indicating the slang’s spread, but the term really took off in 2008 when it was incorporated into a meme based on an image still of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) facepalming in the 1990s Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Unicode 9.0 approved the person facepalming emoji, 🤦, in 2016 with subsequent skin-tone and gender modifications, letting us express our disappointment with the mere touch of a button.
How is facepalm used in real life?
Facepalming, as a gesture, term, and emoji, is used for the many situations in life—directed at ourselves or others—that make us want to hide our heads in our hands rather than face the world at that moment.
Facepalm can be a noun, modifier, or verb.
#facepalm of the day: going a specific way home just to get gas…& then forgetting to get gas. 🙄🤦🏻♀️
— Kali Mock (@kalimock) May 9, 2018
Facepalm story of the day
BBC News – Deputy governor sorry for calling economy 'menopausal' https://t.co/tAaanehu4q
— Michael Randall (@Derblin_Randall) May 16, 2018
I audibly facepalmed when I heard that in the theater pic.twitter.com/wwrIVX0el8
— Sean (@Stairfax) April 28, 2018
Online, people use the hashtag #facepalm to comment on something ridiculous or stylize it *facepalm* to dramatize someone doing a facepalm. People also sometimes say facepalm in actual speech instead of doing the action.
Arguing that we want to do a trade deal with China like Switzerland and that any kind of CU wd mean following some SM rules for goods and constrain our ability….while ignoring the fact that the Swiss literally accept virtually the entirety of the EU acquis in goods #facepalm
— Allie Renison (@AllieRenison) May 14, 2018
What words do you use too much in your WIP?
LOOK – My characters are always "looking" at things. Although, every now and then they've been known to "make eye contact" too. *face palm*#authorconfession #amwriting #writerslife #writerproblems pic.twitter.com/rclnWjj6TJ
— L. A. Cunningham (@laurcunn) May 15, 2018
A double facepalm or triple facepalm intensify the feelings of stupidity or frustration.
More examples of facepalm:
“Me: I think I might actually like the new Star Wars movie…because my expectations will be…So…Lo… Devin: *facepalm*”
—@gamedevftw, May 2018
“Mr. Schuester responds to Mr. Martinez and Santana’s performance by dressing as a matador and launching into a flamenco-inspired version of ‘A Little Less Conversation.’ It’s too embarrassing to post here, so go here if you want to facepalm en espanol.”
—Becky Bain, Idolator, February 2012
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.