One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pole painted with spiralling red and white stripes and hung outside barbers' shops as a business sign.
- ‘A white rainbow now forms over him just as he is shot, spun like a barber's pole of whirlwind into a shop's window; just lying there in a bed of pork chops, sausages and veal hearts.’
- ‘Barbers and surgeons went their separate ways in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but the red stripe down the barber's pole still commemorates this annual blood-letting ritual.’
- ‘To prove it, she will soon erect the crowning glory to her Stanway cut and style shop for men - a barber's pole outside.’
- ‘The shop is now boarded up and the barber's pole has been removed.’
- ‘These attractive and memorable signs are, apart from the barber's pole, the only ancient shop signs to have survived into our transient age of plastic.’
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