ciuffo alla Elvis

  • tsoapm

    Senior Member
    🇬🇧 English (England)
    Merriam-Webster is telling me that ‘quiff’ is a British term. What would it be in American English? Not a “prominent forelock”, presumably.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I don't think we'd use the term "forelock" at all in this context -- a word that has a faintly archaic sound to me anyway, from old expressions like "tugging one's forelock" (being obsequious) or "seize opportunity by the forelock." If we want to bring Elvis into it, I'd phrase it as "he's got hair like Elvis [Presley]." That sounds natural and would be understood by anyone.

    By the way, tsoapm, google is eager to explain the precise difference between a "quiff" and a "pompadour," but unless you're writing for hair stylists, I suspect most people would use one term or the other for the same kind of thing.
     

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I have one of those myself and have always called it a cowlick, which can be in the front or the back of the head. I agree with arti about not using forelock.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I have one of those myself and have always called it a cowlick, which can be in the front or the back of the head. I agree with arti about not using forelock.
    I think a cowlick, which occurs naturally, is a different kind of thing. I somehow don't imagine you with a pompadour.....but online, I guess, one can never know. :D
     

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    No, no pompadour here, too much work! :cool:FYI I always thought the forelock/cowlick thing I have going was more Clark Kent than Elvis. But if you search for cowlick Elvis you do get a lot of hits.
     

    Tellure

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Just for clarification, why hasn"t anyone translated "alla Elvis"? Would "he has an Elvis forelock" make any sense?
    Elvis-inspired?

    Ho visto anche usare il termine "rockabilly" in riferimento alla "pettinatura" di Elvis. Non so se può essere utile.
     

    Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Elvis Presley: The King’s Hair Style Was Called Many Different Names Before ‘The Elvis Cut’
    "Elvis Presley wore what is now called a pompadour. However, that name didn’t come around until later. Unsurprisingly, after The King rose to fame it was simply called “the Elvis cut.” It wasn’t until years later that the hairstyle got its current name. However, it had several names before that....Before it was called “the Elvis cut” or the pompadour, it had several other names. For instance, it was called “the greaser,” or “the rocker....It also went by more descriptive names like “the jelly roll,” and “ducktail.” Both of these names describe the shape of Elvis Presley’s iconic hairdo”.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Elvis Presley: The King’s Hair Style Was Called Many Different Names Before ‘The Elvis Cut’
    "Elvis Presley wore what is now called a pompadour. However, that name didn’t come around until later.
    I was curious about this, and so checked the OED: its earliest entry for "pompadour" as a men's hairstyle is in fact 1885, with further pre-Elvis entries from 1895 and 1920. The definition is simply "Originally U.S. A hairstyle worn by men, in which the hair is swept back from the forehead without a parting," so I suppose we can't tell from this whether the original pompadour had the height and volume of the way Elvis wore it.

    Interestingly, the Wikipedia entry includes the following lines "In the 1950s, this hairstyle was not yet called the pompadour, and was donned by James Dean and Elvis Presley. It was then called by other names (Quiff, ducktail, jelly roll, Rocker, Greaser, or simply "the Elvis cut")." (I guess the author of the above link did his "research" on Wikipedia?) But then, at the bottom of the page there's a quote from The Great Gatsby (1925) that contradicts this claim by demonstrating the term was in fact used 3 decades earlier: "There was a small picture of Gatsby, also in yachting costume, on the bureau—Gatsby with his head thrown back defiantly—taken apparently when he was about eighteen. 'I adore it,' exclaimed Daisy. 'The pompadour! You never told me you had a pompadour—or a yacht."

    At any rate, whatever a pompadour actually looked like before the 1950s, the name was definitely in use.
     
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