Movember: Historic Moustaches

Scythian Horseman

Exlposion! Fire! Follicle holes! Then, unto the people was thusly borne…the moustache! Derivative of both French and Italian ancestry, the direct definition of the word moustache is: facial hair growth on the outer surface of the upper lip (not to be confused with boustache which is on the inner surface of the lower lip). The oldest known moustache is from a Pazyryk felt artifact dated around 300bc. It is of an ancient Iranian (or Scythian) horseman with an obvious moustache and a somewhat shaved head. The style of moustache is a slight wonsal, meaning a thick growth with a faintly turned up end. This style of facial hair may have been to impress those around him judging by his wonderful cape. As my grandfather always used to say, “The moustache is a hair cape for your face.”

Atilla the Hun

Although most representations of Mr. The Hun show him with a full beard, there are several second or third hand references to him having a bully of a ‘stache. As most of us know, he led the Mongols to being one of the world’s first super powers. Inventing the stirrup and being able to accurately fire arrows while on horseback were key ingredients to his successes on the battle field. On the facial hair front, I’m pretty sure nobody would ever comment on how much he shaved or didn’t shave. Artistic representations have him sporting anywhere from a thin drizzle to a very thick ‘fu manchu’ hybrid. Needless to say, whatever Atilla sported I’m sure everyone talked about how bitchin’ it looked. If they liked not having their intestines pulled out of their noses that is.


Not only did writer/philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche coin the phrases “will to power” and “man as superman”, he also had a dandy of a smile hider. Looking something like a sleeping cat on his upper lip, the German philogist must have loved the smell of hair. Best described as a ‘walrus’ style, keeping that bad boy clean must have been quite an ordeal for the self-medicating think tank. There are several theories as to why Nietzsche grew such a bulbous coiffe. They range from him thinking it gave him social status, to him stroking it while he thought, and even to him forgetting it was there due to his deteriorating mental state. Whatever the reason, Nietzche’s moustache was almost as big as his intellect. Almost.

Charlie Chaplin

One of the most iconic of moustaches, Chaplin’s nose skirt is very rarely used in serious circumstances. He, as well as fellow humorist Groucho Marx, took the moustache to new levels of comedy with their (posthumously) self-named lip rugs. In fact, you could probably shoot the world’s last panda while sporting a ‘Chaplin’ and people would describe the event as hysterically tragic. Originally named the ‘toothbrush moustache’, as Chaplin’s fame grew, his name stuck to it. Chaplin was so well liked that Adolph Hitler copied his moustache in order to better appeal to the German people. We all know how that worked out.

Freddy Mercury

The man who brought you the anthems ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘We are the Champions’ also brought you the moustache that could stop a train from driving though his face. Rivaled only by Tom Selleck’s (but not really), ‘The Mercury’ was as bold as the singer himself. Being labeled as “The moustache that could beat up all other moustaches”, the Queen headman’s facial hairs lead the way for his booming voice. Jet black as night and looking like it was painted on, Mercury constantly kept it trimmed as he knew how much his trademarkmoustache meant to his face as well as his fans. Even after his death, the legacy of his moustache lives on winning countless contests as well as epitomizing what it is to be a rock star. Brash, charismatic, and stiff upper lipped.

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