In Your Face!… Your Face!… Face!

“In your face” is a recent American idiom.  It can have two meanings.  The first, and most common, is a form of derision.  The second means someone or something is brash, arrogant, or extreme.  It also has an even more recent abbreviated off-shoot, “face” or “your face.”

Example of the first:  “Ha!  I scored!  In your face!”

Example of the second:  “That new band was in-your-face loud!”

Example of the latter:  “I think you’re stupid,” Sue said.  “Your face is stupid,” replied Dave.

Where did it come from?

“In your face” was first coined in 1976 in Charles Rosen‘s novel about basketball – A Mile Above the Rim:

‘Stuffed!’ shouted the taller boy. ‘Doobie got himself stuffed!… In yo’ face, Doobie!’

It was originally associated with sports and competition but has since evolved to a broader use for any kind of confrontation and usually used with humor.

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