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Mullet (haircut)

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A mullet is a haircut that is short in the front and long in the back. The mullet should not be confused with the rattail, which consists of a long, narrow "tail" of hair growing from the back of the head. Mullets have been worn by males and females of all ages, but they have traditionally been most popular with younger men. A slogan or motto often associated with people who wear mullets is: "business in front, party in back."

History and cultural significance Edit

The mullet became popular in the 1970s (in part due to the influence of English pop star David Bowie), but is known to have been worn long before then. Urban legends have it dating back to 19th Century fishermen, who wore their hair long in the back to keep warm - hence the term mullet. The term is also used in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, in which George Kennedy's character refers to men with long hair as "mulletheads".

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In the 1970s, the mullet was a short, square affair. In the 1980s, it became big and bouffant, and bemulleted men often indulged in other 1980s hair crazes such as spiked hair and blonde highlights. In the early 1990s, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky" mullet fostered both imitation and ridicule.

A 1995 article by Mike D in issue 2 of the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal magazine proved to be a turning point in the history of the hairstyle, however. The article begins:

There's nothing quite as bad as a bad haircut. And perhaps the worst of all is the cut we call The Mullet.
It goes on to lampoon the hairstyle over several pages, including many photographs of celebrities sporting mullets. Soon after the article was published, it became popular for fans of the band, and for youth culture in general, to mock the hairstyle. This gradually led to the mullet being almost universally ridiculed. In the 2000s, a number of web sites sprung up with photographs of people with mullets, often accompanied by mocking comments based on stereotypes of mullet-wearers. The mullet and its associated lifestyle were central themes in movies such as Joe Dirt (2001) and television shows such as The Mullets (2003-2004). The term mullet was even added to the OED in 2001. [1]

Despite its reputation, the mullet remains a moderately popular hairstyle among certain social groups in various Western countries. In the U.S. and Canada, the mullet is particularly associated with working-class rural men, fans of heavy metal music, and ice hockey players. In the United Kingdom the mullet is most commonly associated with rural thugs, or with Central and Eastern Europeans, particularly professional footballers. In Australia the haircut is associated with Bogans and Australian rules football players, particarly those from the 1980s. In recent years, the mullet has enjoyed resurgent popularity among the hip set, in particular the emo sub-culture, probably due to its association with 1980s retro kitsch.

Synonyms and variationsEdit

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The mullet goes by various nicknames, including:

  • 10-90
  • The 7 (shaped like the number seven)
  • Achey-Breaky Big-Mistakey
  • Ape Drape
  • Beaver Paddle
  • The Barry Melrose
  • Business in Front, Party in Back
  • Camaro Crash Helmet
  • Canadian Passport
  • Commonwealth Crewcut
  • Hockey Hair
  • Kentucky Waterfall
  • The LPGA
  • The MacGyver
  • Mississippi Mudflap
  • Missouri Compromise
  • Mud Flap
  • Nebraska Neck Warmer
  • Soccer Rocker
  • SFLB (short in front, long in back)
  • STLB, Short top, long back
  • Stilb- A reference to the STLB
  • Shlong (short-long)
  • Shorty Long-back
  • Tennessee Tophat
  • Wrestler's Wig
  • The Wrestlemania
  • Yep-Nope

The word mullet has also been known to be pronounced "mullé"—French pronunciation with a silent "t" at the end—in order to ironically emphasize its often overlooked sophistication and finesse.

A wearer of a mullet may be referred to as "Mullet-Man". Or, if the mullet is particuarly impressive, "Mulletaur" (alternate spelling "Mulletor") may be used to identify the owner.

There are a number of notable variations on the mullet and terms which indicate the type of person wearing the mullet. These include:

  • Bowlet - a mullet similar in front to a bowl cut, best known from the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion where the character Ryoji Kaji has a bowlet
  • Euromullet - a mullet worn by a European person (sometimes thought to be more suave and sophisticated than other mullets)
  • Femullet - a mullet worn by a female
  • Frolet - a mullet combined with an Afro (extremely rare)
  • Mullet Chan - a mullet worn by teenagers of Chinese descent
  • Mullet Singh - a mullet worn by teenagers of Indian descent
  • Mullet Masztalerz - a mullet worn by teenagers of Polish descent
  • Mulletino - a mullet worn by a Latino person
  • Mullhawk - a mullet combined with a mohawk
  • Skullet - bald on top, long in the back (see Devin Townsend for an excellent example)
  • Skmullet - bald on top with a combover, long in the back
  • Frullet - a "front" or "reverse" mullet, short all over but long at the front
  • Skullet- bald on top, long in the back

It is a testament to the widespread appeal of the mullet that many different cultures and languages have their own terms for it:

  • The Brazilian term is Chitãozinho e Xororó, in reference to the singers who started using this haircut in Brazil.
  • The Chilean term is chocopanda in reference to the ubiquitous public transportation Chocolito Panda ice-cream sellers wearing such haircut. It is also called a "Zamorano", after Iván Zamorano.
  • The Croatian/Serbian term is fudbalerka (the word is actually Serbian, but it crept into Croatian slang through pop-cultural osmosis), literally "footballer (hair)", a reference to its popularity among soccer players in the 1980s.
  • The Danish term is Bundesliga-hår, which refers to its alleged popularity among Bundesliga soccer players, or alternatively, Svenskerhår (Swede-hair), referring to its popularity in Sweden.
  • The Dutch term is matje, which means "little carpet/mat".
  • The Finnish term is takatukka, which means "rear hair". Sometimes lätkätukka or tsekkitukka is also used, which means "ice hockey haircut" in reference to the Swedish term. Tsekkitukka means "Czech hockey hair" based on the Czech hockey players hairstyle. Mullets are a well known and still popular "hockeyhair" in Czech republic.
  • The French term is Nuque longue which means "long in the neck". In Quebec French, it is referred to as la coupe Longueuil (referencing Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal that is considered lower-class) or as un pad, notably in Quebec City.
  • The German term is Vokuhila, which stands for "vorne kurz, hinten lang" (short in front, long in the back).
  • The Hebrew term is vilon, which means "curtain". Another common term is "Eli Ohana" haircut, named after a famous football player who wore this haircut.
  • The Hungarian term is also Bundesliga or just simply footballist (soccer player) hair.
  • The Icelandic term is Hebbi, referring to a nickname of an Icelandic singer called Herbert Guðmundsson sporting the hairstyle.
  • The Norwegian term is hockeysveis, which means "ice hockey haircut".
  • The Polish terms are: dywan which means "carpet" or na Ziobera - after soccer player Jacek Ziober or na Limahla after Limahl, or plereza meaning "cover for the back". This haircut was also associated with Czechoslovakian and East Germany sportsmen.
  • The Romanian term is chicǎ, which means "long hair at the neck". This haircut is associated with redneck-like people and is socially associated with the lack of sophistication or culture.
  • The Swedish term is hockeyfrilla, which means "ice hockey haircut" in reference to its popularity among some hockey players.
  • The Turkish term is aslan yelesi or Fikirtepe modeli, which mean "lion's mane" and "Fikirtepe (a suburb of Istanbul where this style was popular among shuttle drivers) style", respectively.

Famous people who have worn a mullet Edit

Real lifeEdit

AthletesEdit

EntertainersEdit

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OthersEdit

Fictional charactersEdit

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External linksEdit

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