smile from ear to ear [grin]

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
"He smiled from ear to ear when he received this birthday gift."

Hello all, this is a sentence I got from a Chinese forum (which I do not visit now, many mistakes), then I put "from ear to ear" in the dictionary, I didn't get useful results, I want to ask whether it is old-fashioned?


Thanks
 
  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The expression is a cliché. For that reason authors seek another way of visualizing a broad smile. In an earlier novel I needed to put a broad smile on a girl's face when she received a free glass of water at a gasoline station in the desert. Instead of a smile from ear to ear, ". . . she smiled from here to China."
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    I don't think it's terribly old-fashioned. You'll probably find more examples if you search for: "grin from ear to ear."

    Well, thanks, Star, I will google your recommomendation, but would you like to tell me what does it mean to you?
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    The expression is a cliché. For that reason authors seek another way of visualizing a broad smile. In an earlier novel I needed to put a broad smile on a girl's face when she received a free glass of water at a gasoline station in the desert. Instead of a smile from ear to ear, ". . . she smiled from here to China."

    Hello Harry, so do you mean "smile from ear to ear" means "broadly smile"?
    But the sentence is a cliche?

    Thanks
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    I would just the expression to be a cliché. It is a dandy way, otherwise, to express a broad smile, yes.

    Thanks, Harry, I see. If you don't mind, could you tell me what you meant by "dandy", does it mean "very good" or "foppish" in your sentence, I guess it shall be the latter.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hello Harry, do you mean "is it easy or convenient" to say "smile from ear to ear?

    Sorry for bugging you.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    That's it, yes. Convenience. The expression comes imediately to mind because you've seen it so often in print. Of course at some point it would be a cliché and you would have to decide whether to use it or not.

    According to the rules you can use every bug except the cricket.
     
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