One of the theories behind the word “barbarian” is that it’s a way for the Romans, who were clean-shaven, to describe all of the non-Romans (who grew beards).

As a person with a full beard (and who alternates between “a beard” and “a big beard”), I tend to enjoy when I stumble across posts like this one that lead me to little youtube trailers like this one:


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. I believe you’re thinking of “barberians,” the Roman word for the northern tribes who were too lazy to shave or too cheap to visit a salon.

  2. Most beard tolerant cities in the country:
    Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh.

  3. I hate shaving. Hate it. My skin is really soft and my beard grows in all kinds of crazy directions, so I almost always end up bleeding. I’ve recently learned how to bleed less, but it still hurts.

    But, I don’t like my beard full. It looks scraggly like the guy in the trailer with the light brown beard. And just like the guy in that piece JB linked to, past a certain length my beard itches all. The. Time. (Are those two guys the same guy?) I also don’t like that a new popular putdown applied to engineers and other people formerly called “nerds” is to call them “neckbearded.”

    So, I have come up with a solution. In the warm months, I shave about once a week, and when the weather turns cold, I stop shaving except to shave my neck when I need to look decent, like for a picture or a party or something. I use an electric razor with a stand-off to keep the beard under the itchy length. It has the strange effect of making me look younger to other people, I guess maybe because I look like a teenager trying unsuccessfully to grow a beard. It works out as a good compromise between vanity and blood-aversion.

    • This probably deserves a recommendation post of its own but allow me to talk about the Gillette Fusion.

      Yes, I know. It has five blades. Yes, I know. It’s gimmicky as hell.

      It provides the best shave that I have ever had.

      Now, keep in mind: I do not shave my face. I shave my head (my hair started falling out at 24… I figured that I had a choice between doing this with dignity or doing it without). I shave my head twice a week in Winter and every other day in Summer.

      I have never cut myself with this razor. I have never given myself razorburn with this razor. I don’t even use shaving cream (I shave in the shower, I use body wash and it works fine with this razor). Even in the summer, I go through only one blade a month. Sure, the replacements are expensive… but having a smooth head feels better than the three-four bucks a blade costs.

      If you haven’t tried the Fusion, you ought to.

    • I do a top cut with the razor, and clean up with a pair of teezers. Sure, it hurts, but on the balance it hurts less than trying to get the whole thing by scraping.

      “Neckbeard” isn’t used for engineers specifically; it’s used for guys who think that their flabby neck-wattle can be disguised by growing a beard on it.

  4. Long ago I lived in a faraway, magical land working a job that had a lax dress code. I’ve had a beard since I was seventeen, only shaved it off once for a court date over a speeding ticket (entirely unnecessary, btw), and in 2007 I decided I was going to grow my beard out.

    Boy howdy did I grow out my beard. I remember the first time I was walking outdoors and felt the wind tug at my beard. Fussing with my chin hairs and wrapping them around my index finger while deep in thought. I remember when my beard was at its longest that I went to a local supermarket. The cashier remarked upon my beard with awe and after that I began noticing clean shaven guys were staring at me with contempt or envy for my whiskers.

    What I wouldn’t give to grow my beard out like that one more time.

    • Obviously there’s something you won’t give to grow your beard out, or you’d be doing it.

      • Aye, a crappy job market where the vanishingly few employers around demand a certain look for their employees.

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