20 thoughts on “Buy A Friend A Book Week (and beards)”

  1. To braid the beard — make things appear as they are not

    Mr. Bush has braided the beard on the issue of WMD.

    To suck the beard — to in essense “kiss up” to anoth­er

    The appear­ance of Mr. Blair suck­ing the beard of Mr. Bush has forced him from office.

    Hope you enjoy!

  2. Very good, Tom. You are cor­rect to sur­mise that a beard can only be an advant­age in such a com­pet­i­tion.

    Suck the beard’ is good.

    Old timer detect­ive to rook­ie cop: “Don’t suck my beard, kid.”

  3. It isn’t just the beards — I’m ter­ribly wor­ried about the new gen­er­a­tion of fantasy writers who don’t wear hats. It just ain’t right…

  4. I must run in the OED’s beard. English ‘beard’ and German ‘bart’ are indeed related, and I will take any man by the beard, and then *make* that man’s beard with a razor (or a dull spoon) should he dare say oth­er­wise.


    I’m incap­able of grow­ing a beard, myself. Maybe that’s why so many of my char­ac­ters seem to have them. And please don’t go in my beard by sug­gest­ing it’s because I write his­tor­ic­al fic­tion. No, I *like* beards, and when I grow up (40–45?) I will have a massive one.


  5. Hi Joe — I’ll have a chance to check out Pratchett’s beard/hat combo when he comes to Exeter in the near future. I’ll give it a quick tug before secur­ity wrestle me to the ground. I have a feel­ing that whole thing is a one-piece assembly that is dropped on his head each morn­ing a la Wallace’s tank-top putter-onner.

  6. Let go of my beard, Martin! English ‘beard’ and German ‘bart’ are indeed related, but I meant there was no (appar­ent) con­nec­tion to the English word ‘bard’ (which is Celtic, I think).

    Beardly yours,

  7. A beard is man’s nat­ur­al state. I love beards. In fact I once con­tem­plated mak­ing a Flickr col­lec­tion of men with beards — see this post —
    – but nev­er ser­i­ously got around to it.
    I fell for my part­ner when he had a beard, but about 3 weeks after I star­ted see­ing him he shaved it off. I’ve tried per­suad­ing him to regrow it but, 23 years later, he still hasn’t. Curses!
    But there is always Viggo (Aragorn) .

  8. Most obvi­ous one I can think is actu­ally a real one. The token girl­friend or wife of a gay guy is often called “a beard” because she’s just there to con­ceal his true sexu­al­ity.

    I remem­ber a hil­ari­ous trick some­body played on Captain Haddock in Tintin — just before he went to bed, they asked him if he slept with his beard above or below the cov­ers. Haddock was up all night won­der­ing.

    Oh, and if you have a small goat­ee beard, you’re evil. Like ‘Evil Spock’ in that epis­ode of Star Trek. And in South Park, where the kids went to a par­al­lel dimen­sion and they all had beards.

  9. Although this isn’t a ‘say­ing’, I wanted to share this quote about beards with you– from The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins. Made me laugh when I read it 🙂

    In the year 1844, the fact of a man’s not shav­ing was regarded by the enlightened major­ity of the English nation as a proof of unsound­ness of intel­lect.”

    He was at that very time…one of the sharpest men of busi­ness in London…but what did these advant­ages avail him, in the estim­a­tion of his neighbours,…when he wore a hairy cer­ti­fic­ate of lun­acy of the lower part of his face?”

  10. I agree, Maxine. It only gets in an unnat­ur­al state when bits of food are stuck in it…

  11. I once had someone come to my blog by googling this ques­tion:

    How do you shave your neck with a beard?”

  12. Roger, I wish I could sum­mon some sur­prise at that…but I’m just too jaun­diced. (Good title for a post, though.)

  13. Nibbling at the beard”

    That is, to have arrived at a state of des­ti­tu­tion (in con­di­tion, thought, action, etc.) due to attri­tion. (As in one who is so starved that his only susten­ance is got­ten from the crumbs that remain in his beard from meals long eaten.)

    Example: Though his ini­tial works were highly lauded, the film maker has been nib­bling at the beard for some time.

  14. My romantic entan­gle­ments have only ever been with men with beards — how­ever they have had to be full sets. Moustaches, goat­ees and vari­ations will not do. Frankly I think they look a bit sad — as if the hor­mone level is lack­ing. I think it is the cave woman in me.

    My best beloved has only ever shaved his beard off once (for any exten­ded peri­od) and was even­tu­ally forced to grow it back again because our two year old refused to have any­thing to do with him. In fact he cried when the beard­less fath­er approached. It may have been the beard­less face or it may have been the lacer­a­tions — shav­ing, as well as being time-con­sum­ing is also a skil­ful activ­ity, it appears.

    Sometimes the best­beloved has to shave the beard off in order to wear a gas mask to go on ‘t’plant’. This is obvi­ously a dis­turb­ing time for me and I wel­come the new bristly growth like the first buds of spring.

    One final note: I used to think that beards gave Arctic explorers addi­tion­al pro­tec­tion dur­ing exped­i­tions but appar­ently this is not the case — beards in fact can cause frost­bite. I am sure where I read this but it does explain why the Inuit face tend to be quite beard­less.

    Enough, enough. I seem to know more about beards than is alto­geth­er healthy. I am nev­er com­ing near this blog again in case you start me off on somethng else. I really must go away and do some­thing.

  15. I have stumbled upon your blog and am now ter­ri­fied by all this talk of beards and the Life of Pi in one post­ing!!
    However, am I too late to win the signed copy?

  16. Ok. I was ter­ri­fied — but now I return.
    I have searched the BNC for humour­ous qirks with the word beard in them. And there are none. Because beards are really really ter­ri­fy­ing things!
    But here are some BNC beard entries:

    CDN 2181 I sure thought there was a writer hid­den behind that beard of yours.’

    FPF 385 His massive head was framed by red hair that met beard spread­ing to his chest. (see how ter­ri­fy­ing!)

    G3B 567 And with the beard of the Emperor

    HGJ 1756 He had shaved off his beard. (I like this one!)

    I love the BNC. But then again, I am sad like that!
    (Is that bet­ter?)

  17. Not bad, Caroline, but you have to come up with your own (or at least pla­gi­ar­ise in silence)! BTW, I’m jeal­ous that you have access to a corpus…so much more use­ful than a dic­tion­ary when you’ve stared at a sen­tence for an hour and the pre­pos­i­tions don’t seem right any­more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *