11 Best Words For A “Fake Smile” (Synonyms)

When someone needs to smile at something without genuine happiness, it’s known as a “fake smile.” It’s common for customer-facing jobs, where someone is expected to be kind and friendly even if they don’t feel it. This article will look at the best words to describe this fake smile.

What Are The Best Words For A “Fake Smile”?

There are plenty of good words we can use for this case. You might be interested in checking out one of the following:

  • Forced smile
  • Pan Am smile
  • Botox smile
  • Smirker
  • Eccedentesiast
  • Simperer
  • Smile-faker
  • False-faced
  • Pretender
  • Putting on a brave face
  • Smile in the face of adversity
Best Words For A Fake Smile

The preferred version is “forced smile.” It works well to show that someone does not have the genuine emotions associated with a typical smile. Instead, they are just going through the motions to make someone feel better, even if they do not.

Forced Smile

“Forced smile” is the best way to show that someone is faking a smile. If the smile is “forced,” it means they’ve had to put a lot of effort or energy into making sure they hold a smiling position in their face (which always shows they do not mean it).

Check out these examples:

  • Her forced smile is so annoying, and I wish she would stop doing it.
  • You need to have a strong forced smile at the ready if you’re going to work for us!
  • Don’t worry about forced smiles around here. We all do them, and we won’t judge you!

Pan Am Smile

“Pan Am smile” works well to show that someone forcefully tenses their smiling muscles to show respect to someone. It originated from the Pan Am airlines (which closed business in 1991). It was a common trait for all Pan Am workers to have this smile.

Here are some examples:

  • His Pan Am smile is the thing of dreams, but I can never trust his feelings.
  • She always gives me a Pan Am smile and wave! I can’t stand her.
  • Stop with all the Pan Am smiling! No one can trust you!

Botox Smile

“Botox smile” is similar to the “Pan Am smile.” We can use it to relate to “Botox,” which is a procedure some people go through to get their wrinkles filled in, and their faces plumped up. It often leaves them with cheeks that cannot move (like a fake smile).

Here are some examples to help you:

  • Put that Botox smile away. There’s no time for that.
  • You don’t need to have a Botox smile to work here.
  • I don’t think we can hire you if you don’t have a good enough Botox smile!


“Smirker” works well to show that someone has an annoying and fake smile on their face. We can use this word to show that someone often shows satisfaction about something. It’s common to smirk when a customer is arguing with you, and you know they are wrong.

The definition of “smirk,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a smile that expresses satisfaction or pleasure about having done something or knowing something that is not known by someone else.”

Here are a few good ways to use it:

  • He’s one of our best workers, but we can’t stop him from smirking every time he has an argument with someone.
  • The smirkers that work there aren’t worth your time!
  • Stop being a smirker for a little while and see whether you actually start to find genuine happiness!


“Eccedentesiast” is a really fun word which means that someone always fakes a smile. It means that they cannot find any fun or interest in things, and they instead act like they have found it when they have no idea about it.

Check out these examples to see it in action:

  • I’m somewhat of an eccedentesiast. The world is too glum for me to ever genuinely need to smile.
  • I don’t think you should keep up the eccedentesiast bit anymore. We’re all over it now.
  • Stop being an eccedentesiast for two seconds and open your eyes! You might be surprised by what you see!


“Simperer” works well in many cases. We can use it to show that someone has an annoying smile that they can’t seem to get rid of. Often, this smile is not related to their emotions and is instead related to a necessity where they think they have to smile.

The definition of “simper,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to smile in a silly or annoying way.”

These examples will help you make more sense of it:

  • She’s simpering at me, and I don’t think that’s particularly good customer service!
  • We don’t want to hire another simperer. Find somebody who is actually going to enjoy their time at this place.
  • Stop simpering! It’s really obnoxious, and we’ve had plenty of people complain about your attitude already!


“Smile-faker” is a good phrase we can use to show that someone always fakes their “smile.” Often, when we describe someone like this, it’s obvious that they do not genuinely want to “smile,” and some people might perceive this as rude.

Here are a couple of ways you can get it to work:

  • You’re one of the most notorious smile-fakers I’ve ever met, and it’s no surprise that people don’t like you.
  • Can you not be a smile-faker for two seconds and let me know what’s really on your mind, please?
  • I don’t want to be a smile-faker anymore. The next time I smile, I want to mean it!


“False-faced” is a good hyphenated word choice for this case. We can use it to show that someone wears a “false” face, which means they never wear their true emotions. It can be hard to work out what a false-faced person is thinking at any time.

Here are some examples to help you:

  • She’s very false-faced. I almost want to ask her for some tips because she looks like she can get through a lot!
  • I don’t want to be the false-faced employee here, but I know I need to smile more often, even if I don’t mean it.
  • Stop being so false-faced for a second and start saying what you mean!


“Pretender” works well to show that someone always has to “pretend” their smiles. It means they do not truly care for the “smile” they possess, but they know they need to do it to stop people from asking what’s the matter with them.

The definition of “pretend,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to behave as if something is true when you know that it is not, especially in order to deceive people or as a game.”

Maybe some of these examples will help you with this one:

  • He’s a pretender, and you can tell that from his face! Don’t think anything of it.
  • Stop with all these pretend smiles! We can’t tell when you’re genuinely happy or when you need help.
  • I don’t mean to be a pretender, but I really cannot stand my job, and I have to get through somehow!

Putting On A Brave Face

“Putting on a brave face” is an idiom we can use to show that someone is hiding their true feelings. Often, it means that something bad is happening to them, but they’re smiling through whatever that thing is so that no one finds out about it.

Here are some examples to help you:

  • I’m putting on a brave face right now, which is why you think I look so happy. There’s a lot more wrong with me than you might realize.
  • She’s always putting on a brave face when she comes to work. I wish there were something we could do for her!
  • Alright, well, put on a brave face! You’re about to start your shift, and I don’t want you upsetting the customers.

Smile In The Face Of Adversity

This idiom is a great way to show that someone is having a hard time but still has to “smile.” It’s great to show that something serious might be happening in their private life, but unfortunately, most of the people around them won’t care too much about any of that.

Check out these examples to see how it works:

  • Every day that I go to work, I have to smile in the face of adversity. It’s the most exhausting job I’ve ever had.
  • You need to learn to smile in the face of adversity. It’s time you start to show people that you will not be whittled down!
  • Can’t you smile in the face of adversity? It’s a skill I learned a long time ago, and it’s definitely helped me get through tough times!

Does The Same Synonyms Apply To A “Fake Laugh”?

While the synonyms above all relate to a “fake smile,” it’s also possible to look at them and how they relate to a “fake laugh.”

Just like “forced smile,” we can use “forced laugh” to show that someone is trying to fake their laugh. It means that they do not have any humorous emotions about them, but they still feel like they need to laugh to please somebody else.

The same synonyms might also apply from above:

  • False-faced
  • Pan Am laugh
  • Pretend laughter
  • Laugh-faker

As you can see, “laugh” and “smile” can work fairly well as synonymous options.

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