Thursday, November 1, 2012

Movember And The Origins Of "Moustache"

We love the idea of growing an awesome moustache for a good cause, at least on men. Sorry bearded ladies! You've got to admit though, moustache (or mustache for yanks) is a pretty weird word.

Lunatic, artist and moustache aficionado
Salvador Dalí

Where did it come from? It's actually from Ancient Greek, then Italian, then French and eventually made its way into English. It started as the Greek word for "upper lip", ended up in Italian as mostaccio (possibly from the Latin mustaceum), then into French as moustache before Webster got his hands on the word and changed it to mustache because he hated either the French, the English or even both.

Confused? Here it is simply:

μύσταξ - Greek
Mustaceum - Latin
Mostaccio - Italian
Moustache - French
Moustache/Mustache - British/American English

Dutch has an interesting slang name for a moustache in the form of de befborstel, a tool to stimulate the clitoris. Though of course moustaches have other uses such as soup-strainers (or tea-strainers, whatever your preference).

If you're not familiar with Movember it's what happens to November when you grow a 'tache for prostate cancer and other men's health issues. You can find out more on and if you haven't started yet, here are the rules (also available here):

One: Once registered at, each mo bro must begin the 1st of Movember with a clean shaven face.

Two: For the entire month of Movember each mo bro must grow and groom a moustache.

Three: There is to be no joining of the mo to your side burns. (That’s considered a beard.)

Four: There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin. (That’s considered a goatee.)

Five: Each mo bro must conduct himself like a true country gentleman.

Tomás González always conducts
himself like a true country gent!

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