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All About Beards and Mustaches

The hair that grows on a man's face is called his beard. When he lets it grow long, he is said to have a beard. Hair that grows on the upper lip is known as a mustache. Beards and mustaches are out of style in the United States, where most men shave their faces clean, but a great many American men wore beards and mustaches until about fifty years ago. Abraham Lincoln wore a beard, and two of the most famous generals who commanded the Southern armies during the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, both wore beards, as did many other generals.

General A. E Burnside, one of the commanders of the Northern armies during this war, used to wear "side-whiskers," or hair that grew down both sides of the face, while he shaved his chin. After the war, many American men used to wear this kind of beard, which they called "burnsides." A short, pointed beard on the chin, known as the "vandyke," is still popular in France, where beards are much more common than in America. This beard is named after Anthony Vandyke, the great painter of Holland, who often painted men with short, pointed beards.

Napoleon III, who became emperor of France about a hundred years ago, used to wear a pointed tuft of hair on his chin and a stiff, straight mustache with waxed points. This pointed tuft of hair on the chin came to be called an "imperial," and is still popular with some European men. Paintings of Jesus often show him with a short beard. The man who wears a beard is usually proud of it. To pull a man's beard is often a deadly insult. In the Bible, there is a story of how David, king of Jerusalem, sent friendly messages to Hanun, king of the Ammonites, a nearby tribe. Hanun shaved off half the beards of David's messengers and sent them back to their king in disgrace. With their beards half shaven off the men were too ashamed to return to the king, so David allowed them to stay in a place called Jericho until their beards grew back. For this insult to his messengers and to himself, David made war on the Ammonites and destroyed them.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/expert/David_Bunch/414983

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