Wordsmith.org

mug shots

Posted By: Sparteye

mug shots - 03/18/01 03:21 AM

Mug shots: photographs of an accused taken at the time of his arrest, usually both face on and in profile.

I think I have finally answered the niggling question of the origin of the term. "Mug," of course, is a slang term for "face," and so I surmise that "mug shot" merely means "face shot." But only recently did I learn the connection between a drinking mug and the face. According to Webb Garrison in Why You Say It, beer mugs of the late 18th century were often shaped like human heads, and a not especially attractive person often bore a resemblance to a face on a mug. As a result, a face came to be called a mug.

I have yet to encounter a formal term which is the equivalent of "mug shot." Does anyone know one? I struggle to avoid slang terms in my formal writing, and am often wishing for a pithy substitute for "mug shot."

Posted By: Seian

Re: mug shots - 03/18/01 03:32 AM

I have yet to encounter a formal term which is the equivalent of "mug shot." Does anyone know one? I struggle to avoid slang terms in my formal writing, and am often wishing for a pithy substitute for "mug shot."

Profile, likeness, study (as in drawing), snap (as in film).... Any of those help?

Ali
Posted By: wwh

Re: mug shots - 03/18/01 05:21 PM

Dear Seian: It is surprising that while the term "profile" is commonly used for a side view of the face, that there is not a similar term for the face viewed from the front. I have seen the phrase "full front view" but not a single word. Maybe tsuwm knows one.

Posted By: Max Quordlepleen

. - 03/18/01 07:03 PM



Posted By: Seian

Re: mug shots - 03/18/01 07:35 PM

I have seen the phrase "full front view" but not a single word.

It is strange. The closest we seemed to get to a single word in art school was "frontal". I would be surprised if there wasn't a term for it somewhere in history, but I suppose it's fallen out of use, or the meaning has changed. My best guess for a word thats meaning migrated away might be "portrait". Can't be sure without the OED or some other extensive art source.

Ali
Posted By: wwh

Re: mug shots - 03/19/01 02:45 AM

Dear Seian: In computerese,"portrait" means longest side vertical, as contrasted with "landscape" meaning longest side horizontal.

Posted By: Bingley

Re: mug shots - 03/19/01 08:49 AM

[quote]beer mugs of the late 18th century were often shaped like human heads,[//quote]

... known as toby jugs. My father used to have one.

Bingley
Posted By: wwh

Re: mug shots - 03/19/01 05:41 PM

From way back I remember Tobermory. Those mugs were made by slipcasting, and the inside was very difficult to keep clean. Best left on knick-knack shelf for decoration.

Posted By: Bingley

Re: mug shots - 03/20/01 11:43 AM

Wasn't Tobermory a Womble rather than a jug?

Bingley
Posted By: BlanchePatch

Re: mug shots - 03/20/01 12:38 PM

There are amazing mugs and jugs with faces hand made, I think, in the American southeastern states, late 19th early 20th century of stoneware. I'm not sure what they're called. The faces are incredibly goofy with with crooked teeth and exaggerated features. You would definitely not want to be compared with them!

Also, the book Prisoners, by Arne Svenson, contains a collection of images made in the early 20th century by a California photographer of a town's criminals. Svenson calls them mugshots (one word) and does not have a word for frontal view.

Maybe someone should ask a cop!

Posted By: of troy

Re: mug shots - 03/20/01 09:12 PM

I almost missed this-- I hope someone come up with something diffinitive! Never thought about "Mug shots" --

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: mug shots - 03/20/01 09:21 PM

>ask a cop

I don't have one to hand, but I think they refer to them as "booking photographs" (when they don't call them mug shots). the motor vehicle people don't much like their photos being called mug shots and probably prefer "head shots".


Posted By: maverick

Re: mug shots - 03/21/01 11:52 AM

probably prefer "head shots"

Maybe we should call them jayefcase

Posted By: wwh

Re: mug shots - 03/21/01 03:48 PM

Then there was special mug called a thundermug. William Randolph Hearst got rusticated for sending a prof one with prof's name englazed on inside bottom.

Posted By: inselpeter

Re: mug shots - 06/24/01 03:17 PM

<<A quick Google confirmed my understanding that "head shot" is often used by, for example, actors and models to describe the glossy, well-produced "mug shots" they use to sell their wares.>>

These are often partial profiles.

<<Dear Seian: In computerese,"portrait" means longest side vertical, as contrasted with "landscape" meaning longest side horizontal.>>

Due to the different aspect ratios of the canvases ordinarilly used for paintings of these kinds, presumably.

Posted By: thosbryan

Re: mug shots - 05/04/04 12:17 AM

I found this paragraph in a discussion of paintings by Vermeer. Sounds like the Dutch word tronie and the French word trogne have been derived from a similar source.

The Tronie
"The now defunct term (tronie) refers to heads, "faces," or "expressions" (compare the French trogne, or "mug") and to a type of picture familiar from many examples by Rembrandt and his followers. The majority of Dutch tronies appear to have been based upon living models, including the artists in question or a colleague, but the works were not intended as portraits. Rather, they were meant as studies of expression, type, physiognomy, or any kind of interesting character (an old man, a young woman, a "Turk," a dashing soldier" and so on). Garments that looked foreign, "antique," costly, or simply curious were of interest for their own sake and frequently offered opportunities to show off painterly techniques. " 2


Posted By: Marco

Re: mug shots - 02/22/05 12:28 PM

Hello- I can not think of any term or phrase that would encompass the full meaning that the term "mug shot" relates, but I thought you might find this website interesting in your search about "mug shots"- http://thesmokinggun.com/


Posted By: BRIAN500

Re: mug shots - 03/31/10 09:51 AM

vfnvbnv
Posted By: tsuwm

Re: mug shots - 04/02/10 04:24 PM

>GREAT SIGHT

what sight are you shouting about?!

or perhaps you are referring to this AWAD web site?
-joe (homonyms 'Я us) friday
Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu

Re: mug shots - 04/02/10 05:19 PM

heh

I believe that Mr. 500 has been banned....

for bad spelling, of course.

; )
Posted By: mini

Re: mug shots - 12/04/13 10:20 AM

Thank you
© 2017 Wordsmith.org