Etymology
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beard (v.)
c. 1300, "to grow or have a beard," from beard (n.). The sense of "confront boldly and directly" is from Middle English phrases such as rennen in berd "oppose openly" (c. 1200), reproven in the berd "to rebuke directly and personally" (c. 1400), on the same notion as modern slang get in (someone's) face. Related: Bearded (Old English); bearding.
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beard (n.)

"close growth of hair on the chin and lower face, normally characteristic of an adult male" (that of the upper lip being distinguished in Modern English as the mustache), Old English beard "beard," from Proto-Germanic *bard (source also of Old Frisian berd, Middle Dutch baert, Old High German bart, German bart), said in Pokorny to be from a PIE root *bhardhā- "beard" (source also of Old Church Slavonic brada, Russia boroda, Lithuanian barzda, Old Prussian bordus, and perhaps Latin barba "beard"), but Boutkan rejects this on phonetic grounds and suggests a non-IE substrate word. Old French berd is from Germanic.

The Greek and Roman Churches have long disputed about the beard. While the Romanists have at different times practised shaving, the Greeks, on the contrary, have strenuously defended the cause of long beards. Leo III. (795 AD) was the first shaved Pope. Pope Gregory IV., after the lapse of only 30 years, fulminated a Bull against bearded priests. In the 12th century the prescription of the beard was extended to the laity. Pope Honorius III. to disguise his disfigured lip, allowed his beard to grow. Henry I. of England was so much moved by a sermon directed against his beard that he resigned it to the barber. Frederick Barbarossa is said to have been equally tractable. [Tom Robinson, M.D., "Beards," St. James's Magazine, 1881]

Pubic hair sense is from 1600s (but neþir berd "pubic hair" is from late 14c.); in the 1811 "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," the phrase beard-splitter is defined as, "A man much given to wenching" (compare beaver in the slang genital sense).

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long-beard (n.)
"man with a long beard," late 14c., from long (adj.) + beard (n.).
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beardless (adj.)
Old English beardleas "without a beard; youthful" (of males); see beard (n.) + -less.
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frumbierdling (n.)
Old English word meaning "a youth;" from fruma "first, beginning" (see foremost) + beard (n.) + -ling.
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graybeard (n.)
also greybeard, "old man," 1570s, from gray (adj.) + beard (n.). Middle English had gray-hair (n.) "old man" (late 15c.), and simple gray in this sense is from late 14c.
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halberd (n.)

medieval weapon (a broad blade with sharp edges, ending in a point and mounted on a long handle), late 15c., from French hallebarde (earlier alabarde, 15c.), from Middle High German halmbarte "broad-axe with handle," from halm "handle" (see helm) + barte "hatchet," from Proto-Germanic *bardoz "beard" (see beard (n.)), also "hatchet, broadax" ("because the actual axe looks like a beard stuck to the wooden handle" - Boutkan). An alternative etymology [Kluge, Darmesteter] traces first element to helm "helmet," making the weapon an axe for smashing helmets. In 15c.-16c. especially the arm of foot-soldiers.

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Lombard (n.)

also (reflecting a variant pronunciation) Lumbard, late 15c., "native or inhabitant of Lombardy" in Italy, from Medieval Latin Lombardus (source also of Italian Lombardo), from Late Latin Langobardus, name of a Germanic people that originated in Scandinavia, migrated to the Elbe area 1c. C.E., then to Pannonia (5c.) and c. 568 under Albonius conquered northern Italy and founded a kingdom there.

The name is from Proto-Germanic *Langgobardoz, often said to mean literally "Long-beards" (see long (adj.) + beard (n.)), but according to OED the second element is perhaps rather from the proper name of the people (Latin Bardi). Their name in Old English was Langbeardas (plural), but also Heaðobeardan, from heaðo "war."

In Middle English the word meant "banker, money-changer, pawnbroker" (late 14c.), especially a Lombard or other Italian trading locally, before it was used in reference to the nationality. The name in Old French (Lombart, Lombert) also meant, in addition, "money-changer; usurer; coward." Lombards were noted throughout medieval Western Europe as bankers and money-lenders, also pawn-brokers. French also gave the word in this sense to Middle Dutch and Low German.

London's Lombard Street (c. 1200) originally was the site of the houses of Lombard (and other Italian) bankers, who dominated the London money-market into Elizabethan times. An old expression for "long odds, much against little" was Lombard Street to a China orange (1815, earlier to an egg-shell, 1763).

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rebarbative (adj.)

"repellent, unattractive," 1885, from French rébarbatif (14c.), from barbe "beard," from Latin barba (see barb (n.)). The usual theory is that it refers to the itchy, irritating quality of a beard.

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barb (n.)

late 14c., "barb of an arrow," from Old French barbe "beard, beard-like appendage" (11c.), from Latin barba "beard," from Proto-Italic *farfa- "beard," which might be from a common PIE root *bhardhā- "beard" (source also of Old Church Slavonic brada, Russia boroda, Lithuanian barzda, Old Prussian bordus), but according to De Vaan the vowel "rather points to a non-IE borrowing into the European languages."

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