Day of letting back hair down (Diary, 4/4/88)

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April 4th, Easter Monday. Ray went out to fetch Heather and got her back safely a while before lunch time. Pleasant day of talk and letting back hair down.

© Anthony Lawton 2012

The old expression ‘Let one’s back hair down’ became ‘Let one’s hair down’. ‘Back hair’ was the common 19th century phrase for the long hair at the back of a woman’s head. Unpinning it and releasing the weight was a way of making yourself comfortable in informal situations. (From commenter Anne).

2 comments

  1. That’s a lovely old-fashioned expression. In case anyone’s wondering, the direct precursor of ‘Let one’s hair down’ was ‘Let one’s back hair down’. “Back Hair” was the common 19th century expression for the long hair at the back of a woman’s head. Unpinning it and releasing the weight was a way of making yourself comfortable in informal situations.

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    1. Thanks. I had wondered. Until your post, I had thought perhaps it signalled only ‘letting your hair down’ in a limited way, with limits on how relaxed you got, what you talked about.

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