Who Were Sideburns Named After?

Sideburns date back to at least 100 B.C., seeing as the earliest known reference to this brand of facial hair can be seen in a mosaic of Alexander the Great. This staple brand of facial hair grew in popularity around the 1870s or 1880s when Union Army General Ambrose Burnside-who sported the facial hair style-began gaining popularity. They were first known as "burnsides," mimicking Burnside's surname. After the few years, the "mutton chops" were known as a modification of the word "burnsides": sideburns. The first known reference to this facial hair style as "sideburns" was in 1887. After sideburns grew in popularity, the alternate name "sideboards" also came about. Sideburns would become the prevailing title.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Sideburns are seen as far back in history as 100 B.C. on Alexander the Great. 00:18

  2. Sideburns were named after politician, businessman, and Union Army General Ambrose Burnside. 00:34

  3. The first documented reference to "sideburns" was in 1887. 01:18

Written by Curiosity Staff November 13, 2015

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