Barber Pole

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manan

Senior Member
español
Hey to everyone

I'd like to know what's the Barber Pole for...... I'm a spanish speaker and I've never seen it before .... it's a red and white striped cylinder or similar... what's that for?

Thank you!!!
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    It's a spinning cylinder that is a general symbol for a barber shop, much like a cross is used for a pharmacy.

    Here are some images of barber poles:

    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&source=hp&q=barber+pole&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g4

    Barber shops have given way to hair salons in many parts of the U.S., so these are less common than they used to be, at least in my experience.

    This site has some interesting background. I've read similar explanations of its origins before, but I don't know how accurate they are.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Hey to everyone

    I'd like to know what's the Barber Pole for...... I'm a spanish speaker and I've never seen it before .... it's a red and white striped cylinder or similar... what's that for?

    Thank you!!!
    I was told that it dates from a time when few people could read and so if you saw the red and white pole outside a building you knew it was a barber's shop.
     

    manan

    Senior Member
    español
    thank you very much!! it seens to be a British custom for me... don't know why..lol
    but is American ,, right?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think they are found in England and the U.S., manan. I'm not sure where else they might be found.

    [edit] Poking around a bit, I've found pictures of them in Ghana and New Zealand.
     
    Last edited:

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    And I found this Wiki article on the history: I don't know if it's all accurate, but it's interesting:D

    On a point of detail, the article uses - apparently randomly - the three variants barber pole, barberpole, and barber's pole. I think the usual version in BrE is barber's pole, with an 's.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think they are found in England and the U.S., manan. I'm not sure where else they might be found.

    [edit] Poking around a bit, I've found pictures of them in Ghana and New Zealand.
    We have them in Hong Kong, thanks to the colonists, I would imagine. :)
     
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