RECORD: Anon. 1872. [Review of Expression]. Mr. Darwin's new book. Scotsman (5 November): 5. 

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

[page] 5


MR. DARWIN'S new book on the "Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals," has just been published, and will no doubt attract considerable attention. To-day it is impossible for us to attempt to deal with the volume as a whole; but we give a short extract to show the character of the work. Speaking of children, Mr Darwin says:—

With young children sulkiness is shown by pouting, or, as it is sometimes called, "making a snout." When the corners of the mouth are much depressed, the lower lip is a little everted and protruded; and this is likewise called a pout. But the pouting here referred to, consists of the protrusion of both lips into a tubular form, sometimes to such an extent as to project as far as the end of the nose, if this be short. Pouting is generally accompanied by frowning, and sometimes by the utterance of a booing or whooing noise. This expression is remarkable, as almost the sole one, as far as I know, which is exhibited much more plainly during childhood, at least with Europeans, than during maturity. There is, however, some tendency to the protrusion of the lips with the adults of all races under the influence of great rage. Some children pout when they are shy, and they can then hardly be called sulky.

From inquiries which I have made in several large families, pouting does not seem very common with European children; but it prevails throughout the world, and must be both common and strongly marked with most savage races, as it has caught the attention of many observers. It has been noticed in eight different districts of Australia; and one of my informants remarks how greatly the lips of the children are then protruded. Two observers have seen pouting with the children of Hindoos; three, with those of the Kafirs and Fingoes of South Africa, and with the Hottentots; and two, with the children of the wild Indians of North America. Pouting has also been observed with the Chinese, Abyssinians, Malays of Malacca, Dyaks of Borneo, and often with the New Zealanders. Mr. Mansel Weale informs me that he has seen the lips much protruded, not only with the children of the Kafirs, but with the adults of both sexes when sulky; and Mr. Stack has sometimes observed the same thing with the men, and very frequently with the women of New Zealand. A trace of the same expression may occasionally be detected even with adult Europeans.

We thus see that the protrusion of the lips, especially with young children, is characteristic of sulkiness throughout the greater part of the world. This movement apparently results from the retention, chiefly during youth, of a primordial habit, or from an occasional reversion to it. Young orangs and chimpanzees protrude their lips to an extraordinary degree, when they are discontented, somewhat angry, or sulky; also when they are surprised, a little frightened, and even when slightly pleased. A little gesture made by sulky children may here be noticed, namely, their "showing a cold shoulder." This has a different meaning, as, I believe, from the keeping both shoulders raised. A cross child, sitting on its parent's knee, will lift up the near shoulder, then jerk it away as if from a caress, and afterwards give a backward push with it, as if to push away the offender. I have seen a child, standing at some distance from any one, clearly express its feelings by raising one shoulder, giving it a little backward movement, and then turning away its whole body.

[Expression, pp. 232-5.]


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 10 November, 2022