Origin of crew cut
OTHER WORDS FROM crew cutcrew-cut, crew·cut, adjective
Words nearby crew cut
MORE ABOUT CREW CUT
What else does crew cut mean?
Where does crew cut come from?
To understand the history behind the term crew cut we have to go back to the 1570s. That’s how long we’ve been referring to a group of people as a crew (it originally referred to soldiers in the 15th century). By the 1690s, we had narrowed that definition a bit, with a crew as a group of people working together at some common task, especially crewmen on a ship.
The term crew cut was first recorded in the 1930–40s to describe the hairstyle of Ivy League students on the crew team (rowing). They cut their hair shorter on the sides and longer on the top to streamline their appearance (and performance). According to Yale University publications, it was student rower John Hay Whitney who asked for a German-style haircut in the 1920s. His barber supposedly suggested a more American name for the haircut, given that all things German were understandably unpopular at the time. The crew cut was born.
As with all fashion, crew cuts have come in and out over the years since the term was coined. In the 2000s, interest has risen in it as men’s hairstyles tend toward the short end of the spectrum, à la David Beckham.
How is crew cut used in real life?
Crew cuts often find themselves on lists of top men’s hairstyles. It’s not all David Beckham and Zayn Malik, though. Women like Katy Perry and Emma Watson have also rocked a crew cut in the past few years.
The crew cut hasn’t fully grown out of its Ivy League roots. In fact, this hairstyle is still considered preppy.
You can also, though, expect to see men’s crew cuts associated with straight, unstylish white dudes. The implication is that because the style is so easy to maintain and popular, men who don’t put that much effort into their appearance opt for it out of laziness.
Is every girl from my HS graduating class dating the same pudgy white guy with a Sports Clips crew cut and unkempt beard because photographic evidence is in favor of this theory
— olivia 🧼🦑 (@cold_and_sad) June 23, 2018
Women with crew cuts, on the other hand, are sometimes seen as edgy for going against gender norms. Other times, women with crew cuts are stereotyped as lesbians and, most often in the same breath, denigrated as too liberal or outspoken.
Humans aren’t the only creatures that can rock a crew cut. Sometimes, pet haircuts are referred to as crew cuts too.
When your 👵🏼🇬🇧🐑🐶 loves a summer crew cut! pic.twitter.com/pJxYds3ZL3
— Heather Angus-Lee (@PROsocialmedia) June 25, 2018
More examples of crew cut:
“Growing up, [Timothy] McVeigh didn’t appear to stand out, working at Burger King and a security guard. With his crew cut, the son of a automobile factory-line worker and homemaker looked the part of an all-American and even joined the military, where he became a decorated Army veteran before leaving the service…Pictures show him with blond hair, blue-green eyes and chiseled features, dressed in a preppy style.”
—Greg Botelho, CNN, July, 2011
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use crew cut in a sentence
In this cockamamie get-rich scheme, would they all issue an apology if he cut a check?
The brokers then scout out potential “crew members” who can earn substantial discounts for working the journey.
Specifically, what briefing did the flight crew receive before they went to the airplane?Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501|Clive Irving|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Carlisle writes that the Air Force would want a crew ratio of 10 to one for each drone orbit during normal everyday operations.Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says|Dave Majumdar|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
J Crew did not give back the money it incidentally made off of Mrs. Obama.One Vogue Cover Doesn’t Solve Fashion’s Big Race Problem|Danielle Belton|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
If the "Y" Beach lot press their advantage they may cut off the enemy troops on the toe of the Peninsula.
At the reserve bank they may borrow as a standing right and not as a favor which may be cut off.Readings in Money and Banking|Chester Arthur Phillips
It occurred to him then, for the first time, that a third resource was open—he might cut the rope, and let the kite go free!The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
My thought was to keep pushing in troops from "W" Beach until the enemy had fallen back to save themselves from being cut off.
Levison's relations think he will cut up well at his death; Levison's relations are right.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
British Dictionary definitions for crew cut
Word Origin for crew cut
Other Idioms and Phrases with crew cut
A closely cropped haircut, usually for a male, as in The boys all think crew cuts are cooler in summer. This term presumably originated in the navy (crew referring to a ship's crew), where such a haircut was mandatory. [c. 1940]