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Dyed Beards

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The dyeing of beards is mentioned by Strabo, and Bottom the Weaver satirises the custom when he undertakes to play Pyramus, and asks, “what beard were I best to play it in?”

“I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard (your perfect yellow).”—Shakespeare: Midsummer Night’s Dream, i. 2.


⁂ The French couronne = twenty-five francs, was a gold piece, and therefore the French-crown colour was a golden yellow; but the word French-crown also means baldness brought on by licentiousness. Hence the retort “some of your ‘French-crownsʹ have no hair at all.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Dutch Uncle
Dutchman
Duty
Duumvirs
Dwarf (The)
Dwarf Alberich (in the Nibelungen Lied)
Dwarf Peter (das Peter Manchen)
Dwarfs (under three feet in height)
Dwile, or Dwyel
Dwt
Dyed Beards
Dyeing Scarlet
Dying Sayings
Dymphna
Dynamite
Dynamite Saturday
Dyot Street
Dyser
Dyvour
Dyzemas Day
E