jagged grin

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Senior Member
He looked up at her, with a sharp, jagged grin. ‘If I told you, they wouldn’t be secrets.’
Source: Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves
Context: Chief Investigator Willow is interviewing Andy. Andy is a teenager.

a jagged grin means a grin with jagged teeth, right?

Thank you.
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    A jagged grin might be similar to a crooked grin, which does not necessarily mean that the teeth themselves are uneven, crooked, or misaligned. Generally, a crooked grin is one that is asymmetrical in some way: bigger on one side of the face, perhaps, or being more diagonal than "straight," with one side higher than the other.

    Crooked grins are often ascribed to puckish characters or those with a wry sense of humor. Certainly, I would expect a grin communicating a sort of teasing mirth from someone playfully alluding to keeping secrets.


    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    I picture someone with their lips somewhat contorted. The phrase doesn't make me think of their teeth.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I think 'sneer' would be about right, but I can't reject the idea of 'jagged (uneven, crooked) teeth' out of hand.
    Yes, it can't be dismissed. Unless the context strongly supports this, however, I would guess that was is intended it a crooked grin.

    "Sneered smile" isn't really natural but I kind of like it and yes, that might be another way to describe a jagged grin.
    I guess I'd settle for "sneer" or perhaps "smiling sneer."
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