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  #1  
Old 04-04-2005, 09:56 PM
drnick99 drnick99 is offline
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Why are bangs (the hair covering the forehead) called bangs?

I have always wondered this. Does anyone know?
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2005, 10:29 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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It may come from the term "bangtail" for a horse. Late 1800's, US in origin.

http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/inde...?date=19990112
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:01 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
It may come from the term "bangtail" for a horse. Late 1800's, US in origin.

http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/inde...?date=19990112
I just antedated the term "bangtail" to 1812. Found it in a Scottish newspaper, as the name of a specific horse. So, it's been around that long. The slang useage to mean a horse in general only seems to appear in the late 1800's.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:12 PM
Khampelf Khampelf is offline
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I've no cites, but I remember the explanation that cutting a horses tail evenly was known as 'banging off' the tail. That seems to go along with Samclem's cite. When human female hair began to be worn cut straight across the brow, the term carried over. I'd be willing to entertain the notion that the term began derisively.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2005, 02:01 AM
MelCthefirst MelCthefirst is offline
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We call it 'a fringe' - easier to explain why. Do Americans ever use the term 'fringe' instead of bangs?
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2005, 02:11 AM
GilaB GilaB is offline
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The only time I've ever heard the term is in a scene in one of the later Little House on the Prairie books, in which Laura cuts her own hair into bangs, which were newly trendy. Her father refers to the new style as 'the lunatic fringe.' (I've spent most of my time in New York and New Jersey, FWIW.)
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:33 AM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelCthefirst
We call it 'a fringe' - easier to explain why. Do Americans ever use the term 'fringe' instead of bangs?
Nope, it sounds weird to an American. Makes perfect sense, though. I've always thought 'bangs' is rather an unattractive term...

IIRC. back when Laura Ingalls cut her hair, it was called a bang, singular. I'm pretty sure it's in the books, and L.M. Montgomery used it too. I've always wondered why and how it changed to the plural.
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:58 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Interestingly, in Hebrew bangs are known as a "pony." There's obviously an equistarian theme here.
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2005, 07:20 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Maybe it is because it looks like you combed your hair with a firecracker-- BANG!!!
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