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Poker face

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  • Poker face is an idiom that first appeared in the 1870s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the expression poker face, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.


     

    A poker face is a facial expression that does not show any emotion, a facial expression that hides one’s feelings by appearing blank or neutral. The term poker face comes from the card game of poker, which often requires a player to bluff, or make the other players think he is holding different cards than the ones he is actually holding. The oldest known use of the expression poker face is in the 1870s, in a book explaining the game of poker. It wasn’t long before the term poker face migrated into popular language and took on the meaning of an inscrutable expression on someone’s face. The plural form of poker face is poker faces.

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    Examples

    Like any general manager, Kavis Reed is wearing his best poker face before Canadian Football League free agency begins Tuesday at noon. (The Montreal Gazette)

    On stage he keeps a poker face but these interludes are pockets of humour in an otherwise intense performance. (The Irish Times)

    In my own experience, a successful chess swindle requires a good poker face in order not to tip off your overconfident opponent that something if afoot. (The Washington Times)

    At the best of times, she doesn’t have much of a poker face, and she had already been giving Wolff horrified sidelong glances. (The New Yorker)


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