I was reading a book review today and the reviewer used the adjective “po-faced.” I’ve heard it before, but I realized I had no idea what it means. It’s not in my American Heritage Dictionary.

Anybody out there got access to a better dictionary, and can help me out?

Means, very solemn of visage-deadpan–inscrutable etc

From Merriam-Webster’s WWWebster Dictionary

Main Entry: po-faced
Pronunciation: 'pO-"fAst
Function: adjective
Etymology: perhaps from po chamber pot, toilet, from French pot pot
Date: 1934
British : having an assumed solemn, serious, or earnest expression or manner : piously or hypocritically solemn

Remember, about five years ago, at Ron Brown’s funeral, when President Clinton got caught on camera joshing with his friends? When he saw that a camera was taping him, he immediately assumed a demeanor what could be called a “po-faced”.

Thanks, guys. Arnold’s info on the derivation almost makes it look like it’s a synonym for “shit-faced.” :wink:

No, doesn’t the childish term “shit-faced” refer exclusively and simply to embarrassment. That’s the only usage I’m familiar with…

Guy was making a joke based on the chamber pot etymology, ASPA. Shit-faced means drunk. I’ve never heard it to mean embarassed. Are you sure you’re not thinking of “a shit eating grin”?

BTW- Welcome back, Guy!

Thanks, my only point was in direct context to his response to replies (to his initial inquiry). You did reminded me that there’s probably other uses out there for the subject term. I didn’t know it meant drunk, but clearly you’ve heard it in that context. So, we move on to another topic.

erratta corrected to remind. Where’es that “delete post” “edit post” button icon? Sorry.