a grin with a body behind it

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aha123

Senior Member
Mixed Asian Languages
"What do you want me to tell Romney?" Eastwood asked the empty chair. "I can't tell him to do that to himself ... you're getting as bad as Biden ... of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it ..."
source:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/31/politics/eastwood-speech?iref=obinsite

I completely can't figure out what a grin with a body behind it means here.
 
  • MadinaUS

    Senior Member
    American / United States / CA English
    Even for a native American English speaker, this is hard to answer because it's unclear. I think I would have to watch the video so that I can listen to his tone and see what he's doing. (I think that's why no one has replied.) You won't continually hear this phrase in English, so, don't worry about that. If I have time, I'll watch the video. (Not now though :()

    A grin is a kind of small smile.

    :) MD
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    A grin is a big smile ... sometimes seen on fools or imbeciles (people grinning at nothing worth grinning at). So he's saying that all there is to Biden is a grin -- probably a politician's grin, that huge impersonal, unwavering smile politicians give to everyone, including strangers -- and a body (supporting the grin). No intellect, in other words.
     

    MadinaUS

    Senior Member
    American / United States / CA English
    I always thought of a grin as a small, less of a smile, smile. But, it could go either way, I suppose.

    Word Origin & History

    grin
    O.E. grennian "show the teeth" (in pain or anger)....Sense of "bare the teeth in a broad smile" is c.1480, perhaps via the notion of "forced or unnatural smile."


     

    duvija

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Uruguay
    "grin" is one of the so many verbs for smiling. You could make a list (there are about 40, trust me. It took me ages...)
     
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