Sideboards

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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Sideboards

Post by trolley » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:02 am

One of my all-time favourite movies is The Man Who Would Be King. It’s such great fun. The other night I was watching it for the umpteenth time. There is a scene early in the film where Peachy (Michael Caine’s character) is describing his mate, Danny (Sean Connery). He says, “He’s a big man with long grey sideboards.” Sideboards? I don’t know how I’d never noticed that before. In all the times I’d watched that movie I was sure I’d heard “sideburns”, which is what I’ve always known them to be called. “Sideboards” sounded so odd and then I realized that “sideburns” was no less odd. It turns out that this style was named after an American Union Army General, Ambrose Burnside who sported an impressive set of mutton-chops. Somehow, the name Burnside changed to sideburns and shortly after that, sideboards became a synonym. I don’t think the term sideboards really caught on (at least on this side of the pond). Most quotes I can find that refer to this type of facial hair as “sideboards” seem to be from the UK. I’m curious what the Wizards Across the Water call these things. I’m sure most folks here wouldn’t know a sideboard if they grew one. In fact, some of them wouldn’t even know a sideboard if they had one in their dining room “That? That’s a buffet.”
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Re: Sideboards

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:34 am

Always sideboards, John.

I have worn a beard since I was 21, 50 years this year, but there have been all sorts of shapes, including a goatee with long sideboards.
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Re: Sideboards

Post by Phil White » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:45 pm

As far as my own ideolect is concerned, it was always "sideboards" until I was about 30 or so. I suspect I heard "sideburns" and thought I had been mishearing all those years. Ever since then I have used "sideburns".
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Re: Sideboards

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:45 am

Sideboards is listed as having "sideburns" as one of its meanings (in British usage) in all the main online dictionaries I consulted.

Indeed, it was the standard term for them in the southern English secondary school I attended back in the 1970s, when most of us boys tried to grow them as long and as bushy as we could get away with under the school's dress code.
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Re: Sideboards

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun May 13, 2018 9:25 am

An interesting Aussie turn of phrase. When I worked at the silos we had a mate affectionately known as Louse Ladders. This described his sideburns perfectly.

WoZ in Aus
Razor in hand
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Re: Sideboards

Post by Phil White » Sun May 13, 2018 1:49 pm

That is superb! Welcome back, WoZ!
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Non sum felix lepus

End of topic.
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