phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Shave and a haircut

Posted by DGW on August 23, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Shave and a haircut posted by DGW on August 23, 2003

: : : : I'm having trouble finding the meaning and origins of the phrase: shave and a haircut

: : : : I've heard it can also be taken a derogatory phrase, but don't know how

: : : It was a fairly standard order in old fashioned men's Barbers Shops and meant what it said. I've never heard of it used in any other context. Have others?

: : The only time I've heard of it is as a little "riff" at the end of a song. "Shave and a haircut, two bits" or "five cents."

I'm familiar with "shave and a haircut" referring to a series of sounds such as raps on a door, something like [-..--], with two little short ones for "and a" (unstressed words here). The addendum "two bits" (the shave-plus-haircut's price, 25 cents) is just two sounds, [--], either added by the original 'speaker' or given as a response.

It is sometimes said that the same little 'tune' is used for an obscenity in Spanish.