What is that thing that Gordon Brown does with his jaw when he talks?
January 28, 2010 11:21 PM   Subscribe

What is that thing that Gordon Brown does with his jaw when he talks?

If you look at this video of one of his speeches (and any other speech of his), Gordon Brown juts his jaw out at regular intervals. Is it a tic, or something else (i.e. something he does to help him breathe)?
posted by MuffinMan to Law & Government (10 answers total)
He's probably got enlarged salivary glands.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:30 PM on January 28, 2010

I have salivary glands that don't like to empty on their own and I have to press on them with my hands or my shoulders to empty them. They are directly below my earlobes. I personally can't empty them with any kind of jaw movements.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:55 AM on January 29, 2010

It looks like he's reseating his lower dentures.
posted by Acacia at 1:08 AM on January 29, 2010

Apparently it is to do with the alleged MAOI's that he takes for severe depression. ‘Extrapyramidal effects include acute dystonic reactions such as protuding tongue, muscular contractions and clenched jaw’.
posted by numberstation at 2:21 AM on January 29, 2010

I don't know, but Hyacinth from Keeping Up Appearances does the same thing when she's on the phone. Might be a British thing.
posted by gjc at 5:57 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think it's one of his tics - he also has a tendency to 'tidy' his papers when he speaks, seems like it's just "one of those things" that make him Gordon Brown.
posted by lowlife at 8:15 AM on January 29, 2010

Best answer: Can you take MAOIs for 30 years? Because he had that tick in the 1970s.
posted by meosl at 9:56 AM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

I know numberstation was only trying to answer the question, but there's a reason speculation about someone's medical affairs is largely restricted to political gossip blogs. Public figures are fair game for most things, but this sort of thing, at least in my opinion, crosses a line.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 3:54 PM on January 29, 2010

Really, jaffacakerhubarb? Seemed pretty innocent to me. "allegedly" and "apparent" tend to mean maybe some people think this might be a reason. Which is nothing more than anyone else here is doing: educated guesses. Doesn't seem at all slanderous to me. It's a far cry from "omg I bet he has cancer" or something.

FWIW, it might even just be a personal mnemonic he does to ready himself for the next phrase he's about to say.
posted by carlh at 7:56 PM on January 29, 2010

To provide context, specific rumours to this effect have been circulating 'under the wire', so to speak, for some time. They're the British political equivalent of the 'Obama isn't an american citizen' rumours. Again, I'm not implying the numberstation was being at all malicious (they are fairly widespread rumours after all), but without proof it doesn't serve any real purpose.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 7:05 AM on January 31, 2010

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