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

    “How do you shave your neck with a beard?”

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

  12. “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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 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?)

  16. 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.

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