One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of a man: having a white beard; (hence) elderly, old.
3Of a plant or plant part: bearing white bristles or hairs; specifically (of wheat) having a prominent white awn.
4Of an animal: having white hairs or feathers below the mouth or at the throat.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Richard Eden (c1520–1576), translator. From white + bearded.
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