For the tenth anniversary PIC-stravaganza, Court asked us to write a follow-up to one of our existing pieces. Some of my articles have inspired political change, some have landed me TV appearances, and some have estranged family members. But for my share of PayPal-filtered ad revenue, the best article to choose is the one that is most often plagiarized (and don't think I'm not checking).

Essential New Words of the Decade: nabex/clitwoe (definition hint: cause and effect)

It was January 2007. Romania and Bulgaria had just adopted the Euro, affecting absolutely no one. A new Secretary General of the United Nations had just been sworn in—either Ban-Ki Moon or Soleil Moon Frye (I get them confused). And in Toronto, Canada, a young upstart writer published his magnum opus on a "college humor" website, despite having received his diploma a solid 8 years ago. And the name of that article was "What your Drink Says About You."

You see, for me, a drink is an amazing formation of molecules arranged by God himself so as to quench your thirst, make ugly women more attractive, and boost your self-esteem. But it's also more than that; it's an indicator of your very identity. If I meet you for the first time, and you're carrying around a Jack and Coke, then you'll be invited to join my softball team long before the guy carrying a white wine spritzer.

But the drink in your hand is not the only key to your identity. Men (and some extraordinary women) may also choose how to shape and design the hair that grows out of their human faces. And this decision is like a little window into the soul. In fact, it's probably why they call certain beards "soul patches."

So, with this in mind, let's take a little tour on the facial hair express, making all stops in Beardtown, Mustacheville, and Sideburn Junction.


The conspicuous lack of facial hair can itself be a statement. And that statement is probably, "My body does not produce enough testosterone." If you're over the age of 14 and lack a single whisker, there's some kind of hormone therapy involved. Even dudes with 9 to 5 white collar jobs don't put in the kind of effort it takes to be a smooth as a baby's behind. And by the way, whoever chose that particular metaphor as the benchmark was also making a fairly bold statement about his membership to NAMBLA.

What it says about you:

Freshly Shaved

Freshly Shaved Face

I might be a fruit, but this peach has no fuzz. Ha ha, isn't that clever? Pass the lube.



I'm just a normal guy. There is a whole spectrum within my style (or lack thereof), and depending on the time of day, stubble can easily make the transition to the next category. In other words, 5 o'clock shadow is a real phenomenon. There is no 6 o'clock shadow, unless you're an Italian woman.

Light Stubble

I'm permanently stuck in the 80's, as sad as that is. I wear pastel colors and sandals, but all of these attempts to appear free and casual take a shitload of time to get right. Check back in a week, and I'll have something totally different going on.

Heavy Stubble

My hygiene might be a little suspect; water has not touched by body in over 48 hours. I'm content to sleep wherever I happen to black out, and who gives a fuck if there's a razor around or not. Possibly, I am a boxer who has figured out a cool new way to inflict pain on opponents in the clinch.


Tom Selleck. Ron Jeremy. Groucho Marx. All dudes with limited career options at this point, but more importantly, all dudes with notable mustaches. Historically, the mighty ‘stache has been a calling card of masculinity, and this doesn't appear to be changing any time soon. Also, I would call attention to the popular t-shirt reading "Mustache Rides – 5 cents." I'm pretty sure this can be counted as history's first meme.

What it says about you:

The Chevron

The Chevron mustache

As the proud bearer of a classic American mustache, I know how to get things done. Whatever my job is, I'm good at it, and I enjoy it. And it's probably something cool, like "race car driver" or "middle relief pitcher."

The Horseshoe

The Horseshoe mustache

I have absolutely no dignity left to assail. I'm probably not an actual biker, but if I put on a leather jacket as well, at least no one will crowd me on the bus. In rare cases: This Tuesday I'll be fighting the Iron Sheik at the Imperial Bingo Palace on Interstate 41. Whatcha gonna do, when these 24-inch pythons run wild on you, brother!

The Toothbrush

The Toothbrush mustache

If it's later than 1945, and I'm not appearing in a biopic about the life of Charlie Chaplin, there's something seriously wrong here, fraulein.

The Handlebar

The Handlebar mustache

I am more concerned with looking stylish than looking tough. I probably know other mustache guys, but I'm far too classy to point out that their shapeless tufts fall far short of my efforts. Alternatively: Hey Paizan! Whatta you want on this-a pizza?

The Pencil

The Pencil mustache

I'm an artistic type, and my art tends to push boundaries. Even if that "art" is stage magic, mime, or tango instruction.

The Fu-Manchu

The Fu-Manchu mustache

I might be an intergalactic villain intent on conquering the galaxy, or I might just be the creepy guy in the neighborhood who hangs out a little too close to the playground for comfort. Either way, better steer clear.

The Walrus

The Walrus mustache

I'm so manly, I basically grew a second ballsack on my face. I'm pretty handy with power tools, but don't kid yourself. I could chop down a tree faster than you too. So could my horse, and my 12 to 15 kids. Who, incidentally, refer to me as "Pa."

The English

The English mustache

I talk with some sort of weird accent which I obviously adopted after spending a semester in some weird country. But at least I'm handy to have around; at this very moment, there's enough wax on my lip to sculpt a little candle in case of a blackout.


There's a reason the fake girlfriends of gay men are called "beards." That's because, technically speaking, nothing your body is capable of producing is manlier. Although I've had some bowel movements that could give your best beard a run for its money.

What it says about you:

The Goatee

The Goatee beard

In Western art, the devil is often depicted as wearing a goatee, and I am absolutely the reason why. I will invite myself to stay at your home, seduce your girlfriend, drink all your good booze, and mess up your sheets pretty bad. And not necessarily in that order.

The Circle Beard

The Circle Beard

The things I'm saying are so important that I made a conscientious effort to circle my mouth with hair as a kind of visual cue. I'm probably knowledgeable about sports, even if my playing days are over and I kind of have tits now. In extreme cases: I am from the evil parallel dimension, and somebody better recreate the transporter accident that brought me here.

The Soul Patch

The Soul Patch beard

There's a better than average chance I'm wearing skinny jeans and a shirt with Che Guevara on it. I use an honest-to-god beeper because it's "ironic." I shun mainstream societal conventions that apply to fashion, music, and art. In other words, I'm basically an enormous dickhead.

The Old Dutch

The Old Dutch beard

Hey, you know that electricity thing that you folks couldn't live without for ten minutes? Yeah, I don't need that, I'm good, thanks. My name is Amos Burkholder, and I. Am. Fucking. Amish. That's all. Anyone else who would choose this style is imaginary.

The Chinstrap

The Chinstrap beard

In my mind I'm an MMA fighter, but in real life, I train in a gym between children's karate classes. If sports aren't my thing and I'm black, I'm probably a successful rapper. If I'm white, my boy band will be discovered any day now.

The Garibaldi

The Garibaldi beard

Two options here: I'm either a level-49 nerd who relies on my beard as a source of long-forgotten snacks during marathon Dungeons and Dragons sessions, or I'm the kind of stud whose sexual résumé defies logic. I've had sex with so many hot chicks that I grew this thing just for the challenge it will present to making my next conquest.


The term itself was named for General Ambrose Burnside, whose head basically looked like it was birthing tribbles on either side. Apart from Civil War generals, sideburns are also the domain of rock stars, French statesmen, Canadian mutants, and god damn Luke Perry.

What it says about you:


Conventional sideburns

It's statistically-likely that the size of my dong varies inversely with the length of my sideburns. Hey, this is a whole form of compensation that people haven't figured out yet.


Jewish Payes sideburns

Let's just say I'm a studious sort, I know where you can get a good deal on just about everything, and I don't order a BLT very often.

Mutton Chops

Mutton Chops sideburns

Any girl who's willing to sleep with me is going to have to have a sincere appreciation for the absurd. Love me, love my collection of vintage original vinyl pressings of music you've never heard of.

Friendly Mutton Chops

Friendly Mutton Chops sideburns

Despite the inclusion of the word "friendly," I will crack you over the head with a beer bottle, have my way with your lifeless body, and then harvest your organs for a hearty stew.

Essential New Words of the Decade:

nabex [‘nay-becks] v, clitwoe [‘klit-woh] n

The game of Scrabble, aside from being poker's nerdy cousin and the proving ground for my intellectual superiority over Xavier Holland, is a fertile source of Essential New Words. Since PIC is 10 years old, I thought I'd give the decade's best two examples; ones that have endured (in my vocabulary) far longer than expected.

As you may know, when the game nears its conclusion, it can be hard to find places to stick some letters. A buddy of mine tried to pass off "nabex." Naturally, I had to question its definition. I was told, "Quiet, boy, or I'll nabex you good!" Not wanting to spoil a pleasant game, I chose to accept "veiled threat" as the definition and move on. But on the next turn, he tried to hook "woe" onto "clit" for a big score that would have won the game. "Clitwoe?" I asked. "What girls feel when I nabex them in the vagine," he replied. And ain't that the truth.

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