Is it insulting to call a woman 'hatchet faced?"

I like women that have been described as ‘hatchet faced.’ Marilyn Chambers was described like that, face-wise. Kind of concave, more than convex, if that makes any sense. At any rate, I find that look super hot, but the term sounds a bit insulting to me. I had a gf who had that look, and I told her basically what I just wrote, and she said it didn’t sound offensive to her.
She dropped me like a live grenade that weekend, but I don’t think it was because of that! Who knows tho, but I digress…
So, is it an insult?


“Hatchet” doesn’t sound pleasant or feminine. Couldn’t you leave the metaphor out of it and just say you like lean, sharp features (or whatever exactly it is you like)?

If you tell someone she has a face like a foot she’s going to be insulted, even if you happen to have a foot fetish.


Switch the concave with the convex.


It’s not flattering, it’s like calling someone “witch face”.

Worse than witch faced; witches can be hot, There’s probably a complimentary way to express it, but that ain’t it. It’s like the difference between “she has aquiline features” and “she’s hook nosed.”

I would not use this term to describe a woman I considered attractive, or even average looking. I would not be flattered were it applied to me.

Not only does the term seem rather unpleasant in and of itself, when used to describe a woman I think many people would associate “hatchet face” with “battle-axe” (as in a tough or mean old lady).

:dubious: Never heard that. To me, ‘hatchet-faced’ implies a certain amount of homeliness, which I wouldn’t use to describe the late Ms. Chambers.

Now, Mary Wickes, Mary Grace ‘Ralph Monroe’ Canfield, and Granny are more of what I think of. Maybe if I had ever seen Ms. Chambers without her make-up I’d be more agreeable with it.

But to answer the OP, yeah, I think it’s an insult, even if it is true.

Putting anything in front of “faced” is almost guaranteed to be perceived as an insult. The least offensive I can come up with is shitfaced.

Everyone else has already covered why describing someone’s face as hatchet-shaped would be considered offensive. It’s not even useful: there are multiple items called hatchet, and no face ever really resembles one.

I have never heard of being “hatchet faced,” but I would not think of it as a good thing. Actually, if someone were to ask me what I thought it meant yesterday, I would answer them “That the person is so ugly someone might as well take a hatchet to their face.”

I think you’re making a mistake in assuming that “hatchet faced” has anything resembling a common accepted definition. A little googling returns definitions which describe it as “having a thin, sharp featured face like that of a hatchet head”. But, a couple others use a more vague definition which is basically just “ugly woman” or “a face that looks like it was hit with a hatchet”.

Needless to say tons of people probably use it either incorrectly or carelessly, and seeing a woman described that way could have a wide variety of meanings. Chambers is a good example, because she doesn’t fit the traditional definition at all, but I can easily imagine a catty journalist or reviewer calling her that as a synonym for “ugly”.

It makes me think of the character in the John Waters’ film “Cry Baby.” I think it was a running gag (or happened at least 1x) that people were saying that it was a shame about her face and she was all, “I’ve got character.”

I have an ex that described herself- at the time!- as a ‘battle axe’. And this was years ago.

Hatched faced ain’t nothing.

To put this in perspective, here are some coments that are preferable over “Hatchet Faced”:
You look prettier than a twenty dollar whore.

You look finer than a new set of snow tires.

You’re not Hooters[sup]tm[/sup] pretty, but damn, you’re hot enough to work at Waffle House.

To me, “hatchet face” means Mary Wickes or Margaret Hamilton. Nothing at all like Marilyn Chambers.


Wasn’t Lizzy Borden’s stepmom hatchet faced?

I would not have thought that the term was a compliment to woman nor man.


It’s a not complimentary to either sex. i always think of a person with a huge nose when that term is used. Somebody that has a pelican nose.:slight_smile:

That’s exactly what I was thinking. Particularly in Wicked Witch of the West make-up making her nose and chin extra-pointy, Margaret Hamilton with her fantastic cheek bones pretty much defines “hatchet-faced”. For men, I say the winner would be Julian Richings.

I like both Hamilton and Richings and I think they both look fine. But “hatchet-faced” is not a compliment. It’s generally a derogatory way of saying “sharp angular features that look way too harsh to the point of ugly”.