Word of the day – moustache
Today’s word, moustache, (mustache in American English) comes via the French moustache, the Italian mostaccio or the Spanish mostacho, from the Medieval Greek moustakion, a diminutive of mystax, “upper lip, moustache”, which is related to mastax, “jaws, mouth”, lit. “that with which one chews”.
This week there have been quite a lot of blokes with huge beards or impressive moustaches wandering round town. I’ve been wondering why – ZZ Top aren’t performing here, as far as I know. Today I discovered the reason – the World Beard and Moustache Championship is currently being held at the Brighton Centre (I kid you not). I saw some impressive beards and moustaches (attached to their owners, of course) when I went past earlier.
Here are a couple of facial hair-related factoids for you: shaving become general among the Romans in 450 BC, partly to avoid being held by the beard during close combat, and ever since Pope Leo III shaved off his beard in 795 AD, most Roman Catholic clergy have been clean shaven.
Source: Online Etymology Dictionary