John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Today's Forgotten English

quiffing the bladder
Drawing the long hair over to hide a bald pate. [From] quiff, the small curl on a soldier's temple just showing under his glengarry, or forage cap. Close-cropped hair is one of the indispensable conditions of military smartness, but the curl used to be allowed, or in lieu of it a false curl was gummed inside the forage cap so as to lie on the forehead. This postiche was especially in favour with men just released from milityar prison. Among tailors, quiff [was] used in expressing the idea that a satisfactory result may be obtained by other than strictly recognized rules or principles.
--Albert Barrére's A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant, 1897

Feast Day of St. Louis,
a patron of barbers, who were known as "sons of lather," according to Peter Pindar's Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians (1785). The farmyard expression, "to cut a comb," originally referred to a cut on the top of the head known as a "coxcomb." Gabriel Harvey's Pierce's Supererogation, or a New Prayse of the Old Asse (1593) noted that it also meant "to suppress a conceited person."
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