"blank stare"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 29 13:25:31 UTC 2011

I try to wear one because it makes me fashionable.  As defined by OED,
blank, def. 4 .c.:

"Of the face or look: Void of expression, expressing no attention, interest,
or emotion; vacant."

The first ex. is from Tennyson, about "eyes blank with sleep."  Then there's
a "blank gaze," but not till 1884.

But there's no ex. of "blank stare."

Worse, GB reveals a number of authentic exx. from as early as 1825 - from
popular fiction, not poetry.

I say tsk.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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