Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 13:07:40 -0500
Subject: "beard"

A usage new to me appears in today's _Wall Street Journal_, p.1, column 4.

The article's headline and subhead sum up the story:

Where the (Old) Boys
Are: Trying to Find
Their College Daze
Spring Break, Adult Style,
Can Get Pretty Juvenile;
Golfing as a Great Excuse

The usage in question appears right after the first interior subhead:

Playing the Golf Game
For many of these post-college spring revelers, golf is the beard -- that is,
ostensibly the main attraction, and a
convenient excuse to spouses and significant others left at home.


Is this usage in fact something new, or just new to me? What is its origin? I
hypothesize the metaphor of a fake beard
used as a cheap and unconvincing disguise, but that's only a guess.

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
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