Origin and Etymology of sideburns
anagram of burnsides
First Known Use: 1876
SIDEBURNS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sideburns for English Language Learners
: hair that grows on the side of a man's face in front of his ears
SIDEBURNS Defined for Kids
Definition of sideburns for Students
: hair growing on the side of the face in front of the ears
History for sideburns
During the American Civil War there was a Union general named Ambrose Burnside who grew long bushy whiskers on the sides of his face. His appearance first struck the people of Washington, D.C., as he led parades with his regiment of Rhode Island volunteers. Though his later military career had its ups and downs, the general's early popularity encouraged a fashion for such whiskers, which began to be called burnsides. By the 1880s the order of the two words making up burnsides was reversed to give sideburns.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up sideburns? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).