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I looked up "frown" in the dictionary, and what I saw surprised me. This is a quote: "furrow one's brow in an expression of disapproval, displeasure, or concentration."
I'd aways thought "frown" was an expression formed by the mouth, not the brow. If I wanted to talk about furrowed brows, I'd use the word 'furrow.' This definition of "frown" strikes me as odd as some definition of "smile" that portrays the crinkling of the corners of one's eyes as the primary facial expression of "smile".
I think you can frown without moving your forehead, but you cannot frown without moving your mouth. So what's the verdict -- is "frown" the opposite of "smile" (e.g. a mouth movement) or do frowns belong to the forehead?
Seriously, though, it's only the online representation of a frown that ever involves using the mouth to convey anything. Somebody who has never been online would have trouble imagining what part the mouth could possibly play in a frown (as it's always been a brow thing).
Sure enough, answers.com, and thefreedictionary.com make no reference to the mouth. Even my twenty pound Webster's unabridged makes no such reference. Wow.
Interesting to look into this and realize that the English language is so vague about describing the opposite of "smile". I guess it's like defining the opposite of "apple". It's not a thing with a binary state. Do other languages do a better job of categorizing facial expressions?
Is region a factor with 'frown'
Interesting: I couldn't remember ever having learnt or seen the Japanese translation of "frown", and sure enough my English-Japanese dictionary doesn't seem to know of a direct translation, instead giving a variety of phrases with similar meanings. The nearest it gives is kao wo shikameru, which a Japanese-English dictionary translates both as "grimace" and "frown".
Next time I'm in Japan I must remember to look for people furrowing their brows and ask them what they call it.
Before you put on a frown, make absolutely sure there are no smiles available. ~Jim Beggs
Never frown; you never know when someone's falling in love with your smile.
I have actually been sitting here trying this out. which is sad.