Did You Know: Origin of sideburns - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Did You Know: Origin of sideburns

Ambrose Burnside. Photo Credit Civil War Talk Ambrose Burnside. Photo Credit Civil War Talk
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Sideburns are often coined as the fluff of the face, but not many people know why they are called ‘sideburns.' Did someone invent the name as a way to tell the world, “Hey, don't try to burn those off- you'll lose your eyebrows?”

Alexander the Great was first depicted with sideburns in a mosaic from Pompeii as far back as 100 BC, but it wasn't until the late 19th century that this hairy trend became popular.

A politician, businessman and Union Army General, Ambrose Burnside is the reason for the spectacular November spectacle and hair trends year round.

Burnside's “mutton chop” hair style was as prominent as it was well-known. He grew his beard out several inches from his face, allowing it to connect each side by a moustache, but shaved his chin smooth.

These distinctive whickers, originally called ‘burnsides,' later inspired the term ‘sideburns,' according to History.com.

Over time sideburns have made a regular appearance on the historic faces of Charles Darwin, William Wordsworth and Elvis Presley.

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