Nodding adoringly

Hi. I could once again use a little help with English vocabulary. :)

Context: person A talks and person B listens, hanging on every word and nodding. In particular, person B is really fawning over person A (the attitude can be described in these terms: if he were a dog, imagine him making big puppy eyes and wagging its tail)

I'm trying to find an adverb to correctly describe this. Can I say that person B is nodding adoringly at what person A says?

The phrase "nodding sheepishly" came to my mind at first, but I think it describes a slightly different attitude - as in "with a blank/stupid stare". "Sheepishly" makes me think of a detached reaction. By contrast, there is lots of emotional participation in the situation I have in mind.

Thanks
 
Last edited:
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with Nunty.

    Just a PS though - we don't say nodding to something, it's nodding at something:).
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    I think one can nod sheepishly or slavishly alright, since the adverbs suggest nodding is being performed in a dreamy, absentminded manner. The nodding is here a fixed response, or a reflexive action, not on the face, but of the head.

    Strictly speaking, adoration is usually expressed by the facial features, shining perhaps through the eyes or discernible from a half-open mouth.

    This is not to say "nodding adoringly" must be disallowed. There is such a thing as 'literary licence', I imagine.
     
    I think one can nod sheepishly or slavishly alright, since the adverbs suggest nodding is being performed in a dreamy, absentminded manner. The nodding is here a fixed response, or a reflexive action, not on the face, but of the head.

    Strictly speaking, adoration is usually expressed by the facial features, shining perhaps through the eyes or discernible from a half-open mouth.

    This is not to say "nodding adoringly" must be disallowed. There is such a thing as 'literary licence', I imagine.
    This is exactly what I meant when I said that to me sheepishly suggests less emotional involvement. The scene I have in mind corresponds to your description of adoration, in particular the facial expressions. Definitely not somebody who nods in a dreamy state. He is very attentive and emotionally involved, albeit in a submissive way.

    A visual example of what I have in mind is the expression of the priest who listens to Salieri's tale in the film "Amadeus". If only I could find a screenshot... :)
     

    WyomingSue

    Senior Member
    English--USA
    No, you would nod "sheepishly" if you hadn't been paying attention and the person shouted "Hey you, wake up and listen to what I'm saying!" Then after that you would be nodding sheepishly (somewhat ashamed, as Nunty says).
     

    leilanilu

    New Member
    English
    I'm sure person B can nod adoringly, but if I understand Manoushka's point, it's not the nodding that conveys the adoration but the general facial expression. You could say, 'person B gazed adoringly and nodded' or 'person B nodded, gazing adoringly'.
    Still, I think 'nodded adoringly' is perfectly fine.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top