Looking for a word to describe

…that little half-smile/half frown thing one does when one passes someone that one doesn’t know well enough to say hello, or when two people have to avoid bumping into each other as they walk around a corner from opposite directions, and like that. That expression that says “I don’t know you well enough or this interaction doesn’t qualify you for a ‘hello’ but I acknowledge your presence.” So far I’m thinking the closest choice is moue but the “disdaneful” and “pout” connotations don’t really fit what I’m after. Suggestions? Or shall we neologize something for such an occasion?

I prefer ‘polite smile’.

I call 'em an “acknowledgement smirk”


An “eyebrow salute”?

One of the dictionary.com definitions of smirk is “A forced or affected smile; a simper.” In turn, a simper is defined as a silly, self-conscious smile.

If accompanied by a miniscule throwing back of the head and a very slight raising of the eyebrows, I’d just call it a “hey”.

I can give you an exact word. And further words to describe the awfulness of corridor politics.

From Douglas Adams’ The Meaning of Liff - see from Corriearklet to Corriemucaloch.

God bless Douglas Adams.

The Adams definitions seem to belabored to me and the words sound excessively made-up. Yes I realize all words are made up but I was thinking along the lines of something that sounds like might have actually have formed on its own (and I get the contradiction between that and my suggestion that we make something up). The preparations for the Adams things are also all too elaborate for the scenario I envision, which is more of a “drive-by” reactive thing.

I think “moue” is my choice. Thinking about it, it fits well (being pronounced “moo”) with dealing with cow-orkers.

Doesn’t a moue involve a pursing of the lips?