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German Comb

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The four fingers and thumb. “Se pygnoit du pygne dʹAlmaing” (Rabelais), He combed his hair with his fingers. Oudin, in his Dictionnaire, explains pygne dʹAleman bylos dedos et la dita.” The Germans were the last to adopt periwigs, and while the French were never seen without a comb in one hand, the Germans adjusted their hair by running their fingers through it.

“He apparelled himself according to the season, and afterwards combed his head with an Alman comb.”—Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel, book i. 21.

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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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