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A facepalm is the physical gesture of placing one's hand across one's face or lowering one's face into one's hand or hands, covering or closing one's eyes. The gesture is often exaggerated by giving the motion more force and making a slapping noise when the hand comes in contact with the face.
The gesture is found in many cultures as a display of frustration , disappointment , exasperation , embarrassment , horror,  shock , surprise , exhaustion , sarcasm , or incredulous disbelief.
The term facepalm often used on its own in the same manner as an interjection might be means that the palm of the hand is brought to the face with fingers splayed as if grasping. The word is first attested on Usenet groups as early as , according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
According to Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent , this versatility is one of the reasons that the word has been linguistically "successful". This gesture is not unique to humans.
For example, a group of mandrills at Colchester Zoo adopted a similar gesture to signal their desire to avoid social interaction or be left alone. Facepalm's meaning online is the same as the physical gesture's meaning in real life - it expresses frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, shock, surprise or sarcasm. Its online use is to portray emotions and feelings that otherwise may not be easily expressed through text alone.
Facepalm is understood online because of its common usage in the real world. The facepalm gesture is a popular Internet meme to show a user's frustration or disappointment in an article, comment, or post from another user. It is often also used to indicate incredulous disbelief that another could make a statement that the reader considers unusually foolish or naive. The gesture can be visually represented by a picture of a person doing the gesture, or it can be shown through a recreation of someone doing the gesture using symbols, such as periods , parentheses , or brackets , to form an outline of a person doing the physical gesture.
The symbol representation of facepalm can be made in many different sizes for different purposes, such as a comment or a text message. Another visual use of facepalm is a facepalm emoji or emoticon that can be found on many websites such as Skype. These emoji are used in a similar sense to other internet uses of facepalm. Online use of the gesture is not limited to a visual representations, often just the word, facepalm, is used to show someone's disapproval or embarrassment. Since its inception, facepalm has gained widespread popularity as a meme or comment image to portray a user's frustration or disappointment of a certain topic.
Many sites such as Reddit use this image frequently and in many different ways, often to finish a story or joke that has been deemed dumb or had an obvious punchline. In the facepalm gesture was included in Unicode 9.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gesture and internet term. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
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