The meaning of have somebody in one's face In the movie called Shrek, 2001 film, Donkey chatters in front of Shrek. Here is a dialogue: Donkey: I guess you don't entertain much, do you? Shrek: I like my privacy. Donkey: You know, I do too. That's another thing we have in common. I hate it when you've got somebody in your face. You try to give them a hint, but they won't leave, and then there's that big awkward silence, you know." What exactly does have somebody in one's face mean? I guess it means you run into someone or face someone. Am I right? I made the following sentences with the thought of wanting to know if they are natural: I had my uncle in my face when I was going to the market. She turned and had him in her face. / She turned the chair to have him in her face. Do they sound natural?
May 13, 2016 3:34 PM
Answers · 2
I'm afraid the examples you have provided are incorrect, but here is what it means in Shrek: for someone to be "in someone else's face" means for that person to be undesirably close to someone else for any reason ranging from the annoying to the antagonistic. You often see this in a situation where someone is verbally harassing or/and interrogating another person. They get really close to them because they really want an answer, to be noticed, or for the other person to know they are wrong. There are also situations where you know two people are about to get into a fight because they get incredibly close to one another because they are trying to intimidate the other person and show that they are not going to back down from the fight. In the Southern U.S., we call this "bowing up" (that's probably a slang expression), but you may often hear one of the participants say something like, "get out of my face!" So, I think that antagonistic meaning of the expression is also valid. So, those are some of the meanings of your expression. I know some of those do not apply to the scene in Shrek, but I wanted to be thorough because it is such a slang expression.
May 13, 2016
No, to "be in one's face" does not mean to "run into someone" or "face someone". It actually means to be in another person's presence, often in a manner that is rude or unwelcome. This expression is usually used when people are annoyed. As is in the movie, Donkey is always following Shrek around and irritates him along the way. It can be said that Donkey is "in Shrek's face" all the time and he wouldn't leave. Similarly, you could say (rudely): "Get out of my face John, I need to be alone!"
May 13, 2016
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