“I dig old books.” ™
Quotations about Men's Facial Hair:
I've had requests for quotations on mustaches and although I already had several scattered on various pages, I didn't feel I had quite enough for an entire page on its own. And there's not much out there on the Web either, despite the latest hipster mustache trend — just a couple of silly one-liners, for the most part. So I decided to spend some time — what turned out to be quite a bit of time! but wonderfully happy time — digging around in the old treasures of Google Books, and I've found lots of old writings about beards, mustaches, facial hair, and the like. So please enjoy, and Happy Movember!
[A beard] gives fierceness to the warrior, and renders the lover irresistible. ~Anonymous, The Ladies' Repository, "Editor's Table: Beards," September 1862
The care that we bestow on our person is a species of politeness towards others; thus it is that many persons shave some part of their beard, in order to unite freedom of toilette with an appearance of cleanliness and trimness. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875
I must to the barber's, monsieur; for
methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I
am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me,
I must scratch.
~William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream [IV, 1, Bottom]
If they were richer, one would say, "They are dandies"; if they were poorer, one would say, "They are idlers".... At that period a dandy was composed of a tall collar, a big cravat, a watch with trinkets, three vests of different colors, worn one on top of the other.... Add to this, high shoes with little irons on the heels, a tall hat with a narrow brim, hair worn in a tuft, an enormous cane, and conversation set off by puns of Potier. Over all, spurs and a mustache. At that epoch mustaches indicated the bourgeois, and spurs the pedestrian. The provincial dandy wore the longest of spurs and the fiercest of mustaches. ~Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, translated from French by Isabel F. Hapgood
The barber learns to shave at the beards of fools. ~Italian proverb
Guys are lucky because they get to grow mustaches. I wish I could. It's like having a little pet for your face. ~Anita Wise [Or according to Old Hippy Paul, it is more like having a hobby on your upper lip.
A particular face shows determination merely by the turn of the moustache; but the moustache is robbed of all its expression unless it be worn by itself. Accompanied by the other parts of the beard, it loses its originality, it ceases to be a marked characteristic of will or temper. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875
Thus we have now for many centuries triumphed over nature to the extent of making certain secondary characteristics of the male (such as the beard) disagreeable to nearly all the females—and there is more in that than you might suppose. ~C.S. Lewis (Screwtape letter)
Do not mistake a goat's beard for a fine stallion's tail. ~Irish Proverb
There was an Old Man with a beard,
who said, "It is just as I feared!—
Two Owls and a Hen,
four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!"
~Edward Lear (1812–1888), A Book of Nonsense [Makes me think of @TheGayBeards!
His mouth as perfect as Cupid's bow in form, and as cherry-red in colour as hers. Bright curly hair; bright sparkling blue-gray eyes; a boy's blush and manner; neither whisker nor moustache, unless a little light-brown fur on his upper lip deserved the latter title... ~Thomas Hardy, A Pair of Blue Eyes, originally published in Tinsleys' Magazine, 1872
I'm one of those people, who when I draw birds I just draw flying mustaches. ~Author Unknown
A dark mustache shaded his upper lip, and a strange, nameless beauty lit up and softened his handsome face whenever he smiled. Adored by the ladies, envied by the men... ~May Agnes Fleming, The Gypsy Queen's Vow, 1875
Shaving the Face robs a Man of his Individuality and forces him into a poverty of Worldly Conformity. ~ManStache Men's Co, www.manstachemensco.com
But what, then, is the use of beards?.... The first is to stimulate the ingenuity of man, and give field and scope for the exercise of a rampant fancy. Observe what an opportunity a beard affords for studying effect in the infinite variety of cutting and chipping which it undergoes, and how much it is made to contribute to the personality and character of the individual.... Women have almost an infinite range of fabrics and colors with which they set off the charms of their persons. Of ribbons, bows, fringes, and jewels, there is no end. Men have nothing but their beards... ~Anonymous, The Ladies' Repository, "Editor's Table: Beards," September 1862
But he wore a moustache—a shaggy moustache too: nothing in the meek and merciful way, but quite in the fierce and scornful style: the regular Satanic sort of thing—and he wore, besides, a vast quantity of unbrushed hair. ~Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, 1843
There is always a period when a man with a beard shaves it off. This period does not last. He returns headlong to his beard. ~Jean Cocteau (1889–1963), translated from French
There are others still, who believe that beards are given men chiefly or wholly as an ornament, as peacocks are decked with enormous tails.... Something must be done, say the philosophers, to distinguish men from women, and what could be more obvious or striking than a good beard? ~Anonymous, The Ladies' Repository, "Editor's Table: Beards," September 1862
Weep for the fate of Serjeant Thin,
A man of a desperate courage was he,
More he rejoiced in the battle's din,
Than in all the mess-room revelry;
But he died at last of no ugly gash,—
He choked on a hair of his own mustache!
~"The Fate of Serjeant Thin" (A new original Ballad, founded on Fact. Edin Lit Jour.), published in The Olio; or, Museum of Entertainment, 1831 September 4th
He is weak in two places who shaves his whiskers and wears a moustache—he insults Nature to please the women. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
I took up the weekly paper, Ha! what's this? "Cupid taking Lodgings among the Whiskers!... A coterie of fine ladies received and encouraged the addresses of a company of fine smooth-faced Englishmen. Presently, a party of strangers, with whiskers, cut in, and cut out the Englishmen. Before long, a party of Frenchmen appeared, and very soon supplanted the strangers. Messieurs wore mustaches! After a time, a party of Prussians appeared; they added the imperial to the whiskers and mustaches, and it is unnecessary to say, that the Frenchmen had to stand aside. By and by came a company of Russians, so enveloped in whiskers, mustaches, &c. that no one could tell on which side of their heads the face was. This was decisive! The Russians married the ladies!" ~Cassio, "Memoir of a Pair of Whiskers," in The Parterre of Fiction, Poetry, History, Literature, and the Fine Arts, Vol. I, 1834
It would be trifling to dwell on the comical expression of a man's face when one whisker was taken off clean, and the other was left standing... ~Cassio, "Memoir of a Pair of Whiskers," in The Parterre of Fiction, Poetry, History, Literature, and the Fine Arts, Vol. I, 1834
I'll have a double cappuccino, half-caff, nonfat milk, with enough foam to be aesthetically pleasing but not so much that it would leave a moustache. ~From the television show Frasier (Angell, Casey, Lee), spoken by the character Niles Crane
Millie looked up. Her pulse went up to fever-heat; her heart leaped into her throat. There at last stood her ideal man—he of whom in the careless days of girlhood, she had dreamed so often. If he had been made to order, she could hardly have been better pleased. Tall, graceful, splendidly proportioned, he seemed a very prince in bearing. His skin was a clear olive, with the crimson burning through upon each cheek; his hair lay in thick masses, and was of that purple-black hue which you see on a raven's wing; his moustache was superb, soft, silky, dark, and with such an exquisite wave. ~Caroline A. Soule, "Mollie's Ideal," in The Ladies' Repository, April 1863 [Ah, the young Spanish nobleman, Don Carlos!
It is almost impossible to bear the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing someone's beard. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated from German by R.J. Hollingdale
If you had half as much brains as you have beard, you would have looked before you leaped. ~Aesop [Context note: The beard here mentioned is on a goat. The fox is speaking to him in this fable.
Do you suppose that your beard creates brains and therefore you grow that fly-flapper? Take my advice and shave it off at once; for that beard is a creator of lice and not of brains. ~Ammianus (2nd century A.D.), in The Greek Anthology, Volume IV, "Book XI: The Convivial and Satirical Epigrams," epigram 156, translated by W.R. Paton, 1918
If you think that to grow a beard is to acquire wisdom, a goat with a fine beard is at once a complete Plato. ~Lucian of Samosata, in The Greek Anthology, Volume IV, "Book XI: The Convivial and Satirical Epigrams," epigram 430, translated by W.R. Paton, 1918
I moustache you a question, but I'll shave it for later. ~Author Unknown
Bandy-legged Borochio Mustachio Whiskerfuscius, the bald but brave Bombardino of Bagdad... ~"Try These on Thick Tongues," Queries, August 1889
"Here, papa, take the young lady.... She is fonder of gentlemen than ladies, I perceive. She wouldn't be a true female, though, if she wasn't." Miss Erminie, in a paroxysm of delight, immediately buried her "long, aristocratic, white fingers" in papa's thick burnished locks, with variations of pulling his whiskers and mustache and then tenderly kissing the above hirsute appendages to make them well again. And papa, like all other young papas, looked, as if he thought her the most wonderful baby that ever lived, and danced her up and down until she forgot all sense of etiquette and propriety, and fairly screamed with delight. ~May Agnes Fleming, The Gypsy Queen's Vow, 1875
Ah Fate, cannot a man
Be wise without a beard?
East, West, from Beer to Dan,
Say, was it never heard
That wisdom might in youth be gotten,
Or wit be ripe before 't was rotten?
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Fame"
He took a seat at her side with respectful coldness, although he was trembling with desire, to such an extent had this mysterious and seductive creature in a few minutes succeeded in disturbing his senses. He took her hand and gently removed the glove, then carried the slender white fingers to his mouth and began to kiss them, one after another, with caressing devotion. Finally he reached the wrist and the tapering arm, grazing with his mustache the satin-like flesh that thrilled slightly beneath his ardent touch. ~Georges Ohnet, What Pierre Did With His Soul (L'âme de Pierre), 1890, translated from French by E.P. Robins
One day soon the Gillette company will announce the development of a razor that, thanks to a computer microchip, can actually travel ahead in time and shave beard hairs that don't even exist yet. ~Dave Barry
One shaves his whole face, and looks as much like a great masculine woman as it is possible for him to look. Another leaves his moustache, and another a goatee. One cultivates a pair of delicate whiskers, while another makes them broad and strong as the back of Hercules. One curves them gracefully round this way, and another in that, while a third presents them square and hard, or pointed and piquant. Indeed, there is no end to the diversity which our five hundred millions of men manage to create with so simple a thing as a human beard. ~Anonymous, The Ladies' Repository, "Editor's Table: Beards," September 1862
[W]hat a beard hast thou
got! thou hast got more hair on thy chin than
Dobbin my fill-horse has on his tail.
~William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice [II, 2, Old Gobbo]
My facial hair is imperative. I put the must in mustache. ~Jarod Kintz, Whenever You're Gone, I'm Here For You
This is what the beard represents. The beard is hair that grows down from the head to the rest of the body. It is the bridge between mind and heart, thoughts and actions, theory and practice, good intentions and good deeds. So we don't cut the beard, but rather let it flow freely, to open a direct flow from the ideals and philosophies of our minds into our everyday lifestyle. ~Aron Moss, "The Beard," on Chabad.org, 2007
For a healthy beard, be sure to brush it daily and take it for a walk every evening. ~BeardGuru.com
When not otherwise engaged, men are almost uniformly busy in stroking their beard, pulling their moustache, or coaxing their goatee. Without such a resource, what could they do? Women can manage to hold their hands gracefully in their laps, if they have nothing else to occupy them. Men find this impossible, and hence resort at once to their beards. ~Anonymous, The Ladies' Repository, "Editor's Table: Beards," September 1862
O, Sir, your chinne is but a quyller yet, you will be most majesticall when it is full fledge. ~John Lyly, Endimion, The Man in the Moone, 1591 [A quiller is a bird that doesn't yet have all its feathers.
An universal impression prevails that genuine poets should have an abundance of hair like Bryant, Longfellow, Tennyson, and Walt Whitman, who rather suggest this as an infallible test of the true virile bard and seer. Consequently a poet, even if he is not hairy, is popularly and paradoxically regarded—if you will pardon the vulgarism—as a hairy poet. See now how eccentric is my Axeman Bard.
His dark hair is cut short; a modest moustache covers his firm upper lip, and—in flagrant violation of every canon relating to the external appearance of poets from Homer down to the sweet singer of Michigan—from beneath the swell of his lower lip there depends a thin goatee barely an inch in length. Upon the wisdom or taste of this whim I must remain mute. It hardly seems right to me that a poet should wear a goatee; but then did not Pope wear a canvas bodice and three pairs of stockings?
~Melville Philips, "Discovery of a Poet" (in Chicago Current), quoted in "Some Friendly Comments on the Poetical Works of the 'Axeman Bard,'" in The Lady of Winderslee: A Saintly Romance, and Other Poems by George Washington Kettoman, 1892 [Geo. W. Kettoman, a.k.a. the Axeman Bard, was a police officer by day and a poet and artist by night.
The variations which this appendage throws into the expression of the face are numerous. Molière, following the King's example, cultivated on his upper lip a thin thread of moustache, which showed the entire outline of his amiable and sensitive mouth, and it only wanted a few cuts of the scissors and razor to give an external form to the refinement of his genius, to that raillery without bitterness, to that extreme kindness, which characterised him. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875
[I]n bounded De Courci, hair and all! Cloak, hat, and hair were instantly thrown aside, and a smooth, young, laughing face revealed itself from behind whiskers, moustaches, imperials, and goatee. ~T.S. Arthur, "Marrying a Count," Off-Hand Sketches, A Little Dashed with Humour, 1851
She'll be cured of moustaches, or I'm no prophet.... The moral effect will tell upon our silly young ladies, whose heads are turned with a foreign accent and a hairy lip. You acted the whiskered fop to a charm. ~T.S. Arthur, "Marrying a Count," Off-Hand Sketches, A Little Dashed with Humour, 1851
Wast thou not yesterday a boy, and we had never even dreamt of this beard coming? How did this accursed thing spring up, covering with hair all that was so pretty before? Heavens! what a marvel! ~Strato of Sardis, in The Greek Anthology, Volume IV, "Book XII: Strato's Musa Puerilis," epigram 191, translated by W.R. Paton, 1918
Ere on thy chin the springing beard began
To spread a doubtful down and promise man?
~Matthew Prior (1664–1721), an ode inscribed to the memory of the Honourable Colonel George Villiers
A little girl had been looking at some pictures of angels and she turned to her mamma and asked: "Mamma, why are there no men in heaven?" "But there are men in heaven," replied her mother. "Then why is it," asked the child, "that we never see any pictures of angels with whiskers or mustache?" "True," was the reply," but there are men in heaven, only they get in by a close shave. ~The Independent, 1902 June 5th
When it grows naturally, the moustache is always a sign of a manly temperament. It never, or at any rate seldom, happens that it is bristling, hirsuta, in gentle and thoughtful characters, and it is rarely rounded, turned under, or softly curled in men of rough natures born for contradiction and conflict. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875
Your character tells the world you're a real man, and your beard is the exclamation point! ~Author Unknown
Although I'm at a loss as to what's behind this specific spike in mustache mania... I have noticed a particular proliferation of one very specific style of tonsorial topiary — the meticulously groomed and shaped, hipster-appropriated handlebar — which has become so ubiquitous in popular culture that walking down the street is starting to feel like venturing into a carnival tent into a Wild West saloon and out through a blacksmith's shop of yore.... My theory? The handlebar mustache, simple to render and instantly recognizable in silhouette, has become entrenched as a kind of bifurcated byword for nostalgic longing, a symbolic shorthand that's being used to signify, key into and co-opt a larger, overarching trend — that of modern-day culture's renewed appreciation of authenticity and heritage brands. Or maybe I'm just splitting hairs. ~Adam Tschorn, "What's behind the modern-day mustache mania?" 2013 June 19th, Los Angeles Times
Beards. Never mind the referendum, religion or fracking — it's facial furniture that divides our great nation. And, as Movember slips seamlessly into Decembeard, the country is looking even more hirsute than usual. It seems men are reclaiming their follicles as a symbol of power and fertility, freeing themselves from the tyranny of the razor, shaking off decades — nay, centuries — of oppression declaring that behind every successful man is a smooth chin. Well, no more. ~"Careless whiskers: Why beards are back in fashion," The Scotsman, 2013 December 8th, www.scotsman.com
Your beard never stops growing. It never gives up on you, so never give up on your beard. ~Author Unknown
Not for one moment, beautiful aged Walt Whitman,
have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies,
nor your shoulders of corduroy worn out by the moon,
nor your thighs of virginal Apollo,
nor your voice like a pillar of ashes;
ancient and beautiful as the mist...
~Federico García Lorca (1898–1936), translated from Spanish by Stephen Spender and J.L. Gili
Many of our modern men are ugly because they do not wear their beards. ~Alphonse Karr, quoted in Edward Parsons Day, Day's Collacon, 1884
[H]ow long were you occupied, sir, this very Sabbath morning, with these whiskers? Ay, whiskers! What do you mean to insinuate by them, sir? Why are they not shaved? Are they wholly senseless, or have you an aim, object, and end in cherishing that loathsome lair? ~John Wilson, The Young Lady's Book; or, Manual of Elegant Recreations, Exercises, and Pursuits, 1829
A man without a beard is like a lion without a mane. ~Dutch proverb
The little white goatee that stuck out from the side of his chin was as crooked as his temper. ~Margaret Sutton Briscoe, "The Price of Peace," Jimty, and Others, 1897
Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd
Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home;
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose and took't away again...
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I [I, 3, Hotspur]
Gone are the days when clean shaven was the only way to look well groomed. Some of the most stylish and sophisticated men on the planet are adopting a more rugged approach to facial hair, and from bar to boardroom stubble is no longer seen as scruffy. If uncared for, stubble can make you look rough or haggard — but equally it has the ability to transform a smooth baby face into something far more masculine and handsome. ~Duncan Copeland, "Men's Grooming: Maintaining Stubble," 2013 January 30th, FashionBeans.com
Designer stubble — not quite a beard, but a rugged way of adding style to your face, while maintaining a well-groomed masculine look. Made popular during the 1980s by actor Don Johnson and singer George Michael; designer stubble is still a trend today and has become even more fashionable over the past few years.... add a bit of maturity and sex appeal to your look, without the need to sport a full beard... ~"How to Perfect the Designer Stubble Look," alphamalelifestyle.com, 2015
To draw it to a fine point, as was done under the Empire... is to give the face of the wearer a factitious and evanescent expression, since the points cannot be kept stiff without the use of a cosmetic, easily detected and soon melted. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, 1875
I'm not growing a beard — I'm just too lazy to shave. ~Author Unknown
You're a model gentleman.... Bon jour, Seigneur Don Monsieur Moustache Whiskerando! ~May Agnes Fleming, The Gypsy Queen's Vow, 1875
Make beard, not war. ~Author Unknown
Another objection Sir Walter Scott had against poor Foscolo was that his Italian bête noire was "intolerably conceited;" and it is by no means unlikely that, like other ugly men, the Italian, aware of his inability to conceal his ugliness, had ended by being proud of it; that he thought a countenance debarred from any chance of being lovable might as well aspire to be formidable. He valued it, perhaps, as Mirabeau did his hure, or "boar's head," or as so many do value at the present day the bristling Victor Emanuel mustachios, the Lincoln goatee, and other variety of hirsute, satyr-like hairy appendages, as if afraid of their smooth faces not being sufficiently hideous. ~A. Gallenga, "The Sorrows of Ugly Men," in London Society, May 1887
You offer a sincere compliment on a great mustache and suddenly she's not your friend. ~Marty Feldman
With smoking axle hot with speed, with steeds of fire and steam,
Wide-waked To-day leaves Yesterday behind him like a dream.
Still, from the hurrying train of Life, fly backward far and fast
The milestones of the fathers, the landmarks of the past.
But human hearts remain unchanged: the sorrow and the sin,
The loves and hopes and fears of old, are to our own akin;
And if, in tales our fathers told, the songs our mothers sung,
Tradition wears a snowy beard, Romance is always young.
~John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892), "Mary Garvin"
You can measure time in days, weeks, months, or in beards. ~Author Unknown
Hitler ruined that mustache for everybody. [I]t's an interesting mustache, and now nobody can wear it... ~Larry David, Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer
So when people see mustaches now, they think hipster, not Hitler. And that, people, is the power of creative rebranding. ~Kenya Barris, black‑ish, "Crazy Mom" (season 1, episode 4), original airdate 2014 October 15th
Beards: they grow on you. ~Author Unknown
Even the swallowing the moustache by Whiskerandos, which has so often been denounced as "too broad" was taken from an accident which really happened on the first night of Leigh Hunt's play of A Legend of Florence to a Mr. Moore, who played the principal character in it, and who was obliged to leave the stage for some minutes, being totally unable to proceed with his part. ~J. Brander Matthews, "Sheridan's 'Critic,'" in Tinsleys' Magazine, November 1872
In England and America a beard usually means that its owner would rather be considered venerable than virile; on the continent of Europe it often means that its owner makes a special claim to virility. ~Rebecca West, The Thinking Reed, 1936