Trivia Teaser

Simon & Garfunkel classic: 'Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and WHAT'?


Hair today...


By Christine Lovatt

We spend time and money getting rid of it, except for people who don’t have it. They spend even more to grow it and you can change the colour to any shade you like. I’m talking about hair.

Hair is defined as the 'filamentous outgrowth of the epidermis', or 'a dense growth of threadlike structures found in mammals'.

We also call it 'tresses', 'locks' or 'crowning glory' and it keeps our heads warm in winter by preventing heat loss.

The word hair, which comes from the German haar, is very much part of our everyday speech.

People with straight hair spend hours curling it and curly-haired people hate their curls. We can get in other people’s hair by annoying them. We let our hair down when we celebrate, then drink a hair of the dog the next morning!

We split hairs by making petty distinctions and scary things make our hair stand on end.

We can win by a hair, which means by a very close margin. By the way, a hair’s-breadth is a formal unit of measure equal to one-forty-eighth of an inch. Or at least it was in 1561.

“Keep your hair on!” is an order to calm down, whereas if you don’t turn a hair, you remain unmoved.

Hairy, as well as being  covered with hair, also means alarming and difficult. Hirsute is another word for hairy. Piliferous means having or producing hair.

Calvous means bald and pilgarlic is a bald-headed person, literally a ‘peeled garlic’. Pognotrophy is the growing of a beard.

We’ve all had a bad hair day – when not just your hair but everything
goes wrong.

I'm going to spend some time brushing up on my logic skills - perhaps a game or two of Hair-tori Island will be appropriate?

Happy Puzzling!


12 Responses to

Hair today...

Lynny said:
July 27, 2011 at 9:13 PM

hair today and gone tomorrow!

July 27, 2011 at 10:16 PM

I am willing admit to being "calvous", or at least, almost calvous. BUT I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ADMIT TO BEING "pilgarlic". NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Where on earth did you find such a horrible word, Christine?

sozza23 said:
July 28, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I had a hairy ride on the roller-coaster, it blew the cob-webs out of my hair. A very 'hair raising' experience!! And hairs to you.

July 28, 2011 at 5:40 PM

I enjoy some of the imaginative names of hair salons. I've seen "Hair Port", "Hair Crew", and "Hair Today", among others. My favourite, though it doesn't include the word "hair" is "A Cut Above", and many more versions of hair-related names, "Fringe Benefits", for example. The industry must attract creative, imaginative people!

alirocks said:
July 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM

My fave salon name Beauregarde is "Curl Up and Dye".

kragzy said:
July 28, 2011 at 8:55 PM

What we need is a word to describe the phenomenon that men suffer as they get older (i.e. moi). Hair growth changes direction - instead of growing up and out of your head, it starts growing down and out of you ears, nose and eyebrows!! "Invertipilus"??

Xrosie said:
July 29, 2011 at 8:17 AM

If my hair is too long, one of my goats seems to think it's edible, hence my "Urchin Cut" to coin an old name

Ignazia said:
July 29, 2011 at 5:34 PM

On a more serious note "Trichotillomania" the compulsive urge to pull out one's own hair leading to noticeable hair loss. It is derived from the Greek language. Trich (hair) till (pull), and of course mania (an abnormal love for a specific object, place, or action). A little trivia with a big word.

August 02, 2011 at 7:36 PM

After seeing many cancer patients with patchy hair my hubby decided to buy hair clippers to get a short cut before his chemo treatments. The bonus.....his balding spot at the crown was less noticeable! Fortunately the short cut (for men) is also fashionable so isn't so noticeable as it once would have been.The downside is that he feels the cold of the almost bald head but doesn't really like beanies much. Our hair is so much of our identity and the charities which suport women going through treatment with wigs are a great idea. If you are involved keep up the great work!

August 02, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Stitchpuzz. I, too, dislike the beanies, but I have always had regular hats and caps (with brims for shade), so I use them. They are smart, and really, unobtrusive. And I certainly have no intention of buying a wig. Oh, by the way, I still have some hair. So I still make a 2cm wide bun on the back of my head. Keeps the rest of the hair (what there is left of it) out of my face.

marble250 said:
August 04, 2011 at 11:28 AM

A few years back I contracted "alopecia", which manifested itself in 2 twenty cent piece sized holes in my scalp hair. I went to a specialist who shed this light on the matter " it is a condition where the body's immune system goes haywire and attacks the hair".....the remedy..."try to relax as the problem is exaserbated by worry". Now telling a young bloke to relax when he is confronting baldness at a such young age is like telling someone to stop thinking of something...the result is that the mind then starts to concentrate on that very thing. So the condition progressed and the "holes" began to join...I was staring down the barrel of what you are calling PILGARLICISM. Who came to the rescue?. A young blokes best friend, of course...ME MOTHER!. She came up with the most unlikely remedy of methylated spirits rubbed into the effected area ( she used to use metho something like the Father used Windex in My Big Fat Greek wedding)and the Sun!. At the start, I had no confidence, at all, in this medical regime...but in a couple of weeks...low and behold! some fine growth, and in a couple of holes. Now whether this was the "placebo effect", or a miracle cure, I'm not sure, but I am just happy she was around.

August 04, 2011 at 1:50 PM

My brother had a bald circle at the back from early middle age. His youngest daughter gazed admiringly at it in the car, and said "Mummy, would you please part my hair in a circle like Daddy's?"