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Towhead, blond

Posted by Marcus on December 30, 2000

In Reply to: Towhead, blond posted by ESC on December 29, 2000

: : Can anyone tell me the origin of the phrase "towheaded child" and what it's supposed to mean?

: TOWHEAD -- ".is a person -- usually a young person -- who has very blond hair, almost flaxen or pale yellow. 'Tow' has for centuries been used as a name for flax or hemp prepared for spinning." From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1977, 1988).

: And while we're on the subject of yellow hair: According to the "Associated Press Stylebook," "blond" is used as a noun for males and as an adjective for all applications. "Blonde" is the noun for a woman with blond hair.

: throw in a cowlick and you have a "tow-headed kid". All my cousins were blond on blonde as kids and they all had cowlicks on their foreheads. It looked like rumpled flax prior to spinning.