One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person with a pretty face. Also as a term of endearment. Now rare, except in sense 1b.
2"to be just a pretty face" and variants: to have no qualities other than attractiveness, especially with connotations of low intelligence; usually in negative contexts. Also: "to be more than (just) a pretty face": to have qualities other than mere attractiveness, especially intelligence.
3More fully "pretty-face kangaroo", "pretty-face wallaby". The whiptail wallaby, Macropus parryi, of eastern Australia, which is pale and slender with white and blackish stripes on the face and ears.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Charles Cotton (1630–1687), poet and translator. From pretty + face.
pretty face/ˌprɪti ˈfeɪs/
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