man bun

or man·bun

[ man-buhn ]
/ ˈmænˌbʌn /

noun

a man’s hair gathered into a bun at the back or top of the head.

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Origin of man bun

First recorded in 2010–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What else does man bun mean?

The man bun is a male hairstyle featuring a top knot of varying lengths. It’s associated with hipsters in the 2010s.

Where does man bun come from?

The man bun comes in many different forms, styled with a full mane of hair or shaved sides, on the crown of the head or further back—it all depends on the needs of the man.

But, as a hairstyle, the man bun goes way back, documented from the Germanic Goths to Japanese samurai, who wore theirs in various fashions that have become stereotyped in everything from Saturday Night Live to Samurai Jack.

Other modern man buns appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Interview with the Vampire (1994). In the late 2000s, soccer superstar David Beckham fixed up a man bun while on the field (and off).

As a term and trend, however, man bun takes off around 2013 when the likes of Jared Leto, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Joakim Noah started sporting them.

Perhaps, as a counter to the slicked-back ‘do that became popular in the 2000s, the man bun spread with trendy hipsters in cities like Brooklyn, Oakland, Portland, and Austin, who often paired their man bun with that 2010s trend, the big beard.

While popular among many dudes, some mocked the look as girly, predictably, but others ribbed the man bun, and its wearer, as bougie and greasy. Some enterprising folks created man bun clip-ons or photoshopped man buns onto important figures.

And then there are those detractors who actually “cut-and-run” men’s hair to “Stop the Knot.”

How is man bun used in real life?

For all its haters, the man bun gets its love on social media, with selfies shared and fan pages maintained, often under the hasthtag “#ManBunMonday.”

Still, the man bun proves itself an easy target, often used as a trope for the just-so hipster.

More examples of man bun:

“New ‘Aquaman’ Images Are Chock Full of Patrick Wilson’s Man Bun, More Shirtless Jason Momoa”
Hoai-Tran Bui, Slash Film (headline), June, 2018       

Note

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.