The word moustache is French, and is derived from the Italian moustacio 14th century, dialectal mostaccio 16th century, from Medieval Latin moustaccium 7th century, Medieval Greek μοστάκιον moustakion, attested in the ninth century, which ultimately originates as a diminutive of Hellenistic Greek μύσταξ mustak-, meaning upper lip or facial hair probably derived from Hellenistic Greek μύλλον mullon – lip. The oldest portrait showing a shaved man with a moustache dates from 300 BC and features an ancient Iranian Scythian horseman. Various cultures have developed different associations with moustaches. In some countries moustaches are associated with power, beards with traditionalism, and lack of facial hair with more liberal, secular tendencies.
One Thousand Mustaches. A Cultural History of the Mo:
During the late 17th Century, beards fell spectacularly out of fashion in Europe, helped in Russia by Tsar Peter the Great’s ‘beard tax’ – and as a result moustaches flourished. By the early 1800s moustaches were flamboyant, curled and often carefully sculpted to link up with excessive sideburns…..Oscar Wilde shaved when all his Victorian colleagues had beards. I predict that in he next five years, maybe the radical thing will be clean-shavenness, the next act of individualism and rebellion;