barber's pole

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n barber's pole striped pole outside a barbershop
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: From the Middle Ages up until the end of the 19th century, barbers performed a number of medical duties including bloodletting, wound treatment, dentistry, minor operations and bone-setting. The barber's striped red pole originated in the Middle Ages, when it was a staff the patient would grip while the barber bled the patient.
    • Barber's pole the barber's sign in England, a pole striped spirally with alternate bands of colours, generally red or black and white, having often a brass basin hung at the end
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.—L. barba, a beard.

Usage

In literature:

To be sure, a little way off I'll look like a walking barber's pole.
"Anne Of The Island" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
He would not cease to produce the barber's-pole from his mouth.
"Zuleika Dobson" by Max Beerbohm
At a mean little barber's with a pole above his lettered door he went in to be shaved.
"The Return" by Walter de la Mare
I wouldn't want you to look like a barber's pole.
"Cy Whittaker's Place" by Joseph C. Lincoln
There's one king in the room who is mounted onto a foamin steed, his right hand graspin a barber's pole.
"The Complete Works of Artemus Ward" by Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)
For about thirty feet from the ground this was painted in coloured stripes very much like a barber's pole.
"Our Little Korean Cousin" by H. Lee M. Pike
And all mankind interpret it as readily as they do the striped pole in front of a barber's shop.
"Round the Block" by John Bell Bouton
There's one king in this room who is mounted onto a foaming steed, his right hand graspin a barber's pole.
"Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature" by Various
A barber's pole protruded beside the ope leading to Captain Coffin's lodgings.
"Poison Island" by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)
There's one king in this room who is mounted onto a foaming steed, his right hand graspin a barber's pole.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume III. (of X.)" by Various
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In news:

Detectives want to know who stole a barber pole from a shop that's been in the city for decades.
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