largebeard_crop.jpg

A man’s beard is his destiny, and while we’ve already had our say on exactly how it works out, we’re always open to new ideas…

Neatorama just dug up a Victorian treatise on the significance of facial hair, and it has us reconsidering our whole outlook on things. The book is The Language of the Beard, and according to its author, one Upton Uxbridge Underwood, a man’s whole character can be gleaned from his follicles.

The science is known as pogonology—a whisker-based cousin of phrenology—and it breaks down something like this:

A spade beard, according to Underwood’s theories, may denote audacity and resolution, for example, while a forked, finely-downed beard signifies creativity and the gift of intuition, a bushy beard suggests generosity, and so on….Not only does Underwood credit this doctrine with all but infallible accuracy in assessing behavioral tendencies, he insists on its irrefutable validity for purposes of prophecy and prediction and for unerring analyses of fortune and fate.

Consider us sold. We guess this makes our friends in Maine exceedingly generous of spirit, which sounds about right.

Of course, doubters might tell you that nobody had ever heard of U. U. Underwood or The Language of Beards before a few days ago—but we’ve stopped listening to clean-shaven sources.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom