There is a sentence from GoT:

She was sitting with the Princess Myrcella, all smiles and admiration.

Could you explain the meaning of the second part of the sentence

all smiles and admiration

What are the parts of speech words "smiles" and "admiration"?

  • 2
    "all smiles and admiration" describes the way that she behaved while she "was sitting with the Princess". She was smiling again and again, and expressing her admiration towards the Princess. Jul 26, 2018 at 19:25

3 Answers 3


This is a kind of poetic language, in which "smiles and admiration" are characteristics of the subject "she". Up to now I'm sure you would have expected to see something more straightforward, such as the compound sentence:

She was sitting with the Princess, and smiling and admiring her.

In creative writing (like fiction or poetry) writers are free to organize their words in all kinds of ways that may seem ungrammatical, but which are intended to have a particular effect. In this case, the "A is all X and Y" structure means "A is full of X and Y" or "A is doing nothing but X and Y".

Other examples:

While the popular image of the Roman Empire is all gladiators and orgies, the truth is that the empire was a massive bureaucracy, which, like any other in history, produced a massive number of documents, some of which have survived.

Outwardly that Christmas she was all good tidings and cheer but inwardly she was full of worry about her missing friend.


Expressions starting with "all" and then one or more nouns are often used to describe notably strong aspects or characteristics of something. She was all smiles and admiration - she was smiling a lot and behaving very admiringly. The angry dog was all growls and teeth. The house caught fire and then it was all flames and smoke. Sometimes sarcasm or derision is intended - when my brother came in the room, my best friend was all blushes and fluttering eyelashes. A reasonable dictionary explanation is no. 8 for "all" in Collins Dictionary:

  1. seeming to be nothing but

he was all arms and legs

All (Collins)


"smiles" and "admiration" are nouns (the first is a plural noun)

The phrase "all smiles and admiration" describes how she was sitting. It means that she was smiling and adoring the princess as she was sitting by her.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .