I do. The irrepressible (not that you’d want to) Debra Hamel is running another Buy A Friend A Book Week. Across the blogosphere, word geeks are a-chatter and readers are carefully selecting books to send their friends. I’ve considered running a counter promotion called ‘Buy An Enemy A Book Week’ but there are only so many copies of Life of Pi.
Win a copy of my book!
To celebrate BAFAB Week, I’m giving away one signed copy of my science fiction novel, Déjà Vu. To win it, all you have to do is add a comment to this post. You can provide a reason that illustrates how deserving you are, if you want, but your entry will be judged solely on your use of the word ‘beard’.
Writers don’t seem to have beards any more. Sure, you’ve got your Hemmingways, Kings, and, well…various others, but it is no exaggeration to say they’re sadly lacking from the writing population at large. I used to work in a psychology department, and we had an impressive number of beards. I would venture that the beardless men were somewhat frowned upon. Anyway, in preparation for my winter hibernation, a certain amount of hairiness has seized my chin and gripped my jowls. (See pictorial evidence below.)
There’s always a debate when one grows a beard. To what extent will it repel the ladies? Well, since I’m spoken for, I don’t need to worry about that. Will it itch? Perhaps. Will its insulating properties cause my brain to overheat during light exercise? Certainly. So I was vacillating about whether to shave it off. Last night, however, the girlfriend and I took receipt of two friends who have arrived from Germany, and one of them asked me about this unholy fur on my face, using the German for beard, ‘Bart’. Ah-hah! I thought. There is clearly an etymological connection between ‘beard’ and ‘bard’. I’ll keep the beard!
During a quick visit to the OED, which confirmed that my initial intuition about the connection was quite, quite wrong, I came across a number of phrases under the entry for ‘beard’ that I feel duty-bound to share with you, dear reader.
Phrase Meaning in spite of or maugre any one’s beard in defiance of or direct opposition to his purpose to be, meet, or run in any one’s beard to oppose him openly and resolutely, to BEARD. to take by the beard to attack resolutely to make a man’s beard (lit.) to dress his beard, (fig.) to outwit or delude him to make a man’s beard without a razor (in later sense) to behead him to put something against a man’s beard to taunt him with it to one’s beard to one’s face, openly
Examples of usage: “Can you believe the Prime Minister of Great Britain would stoop so low as to take Mr Hussein by the beard? It comes as little surprise, perhaps, given the latter’s constant bearding and the frankly canine persistence that drives him to shove his weapons of mass destruction in Mr Blair’s beard, and, famously, other beards. One would hardly be surprised if our illustrious premier took Mr Hussein’s beard without a razor. The whole situation beggars my beard.”
So! Think up your own expression that involves the word ‘beard’ and post a comment below! The best will get a copy of my book.