One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun White stage make-up.‘the man in whiteface going up on the stage’
cosmetics, greasepaintView synonyms
- ‘This paper looks at the previously unconsidered racial stereotype of whiteface utilized by Anglo Americans in the middle of the nineteenth century to distance their working-class from those of the newly arrived immigrant Irish.’
- ‘In the context of this event, the dancers' makeup - whiteface with eyes and mouths outlined - had a disturbing edge, though as they moved they conjured more Weimar than minstrel show.’
- ‘The success of burlesque in the late 1860s spawned several all-female white troupes performing standard minstrel routines in whiteface.’
- ‘As a black man going undercover in whiteface, he investigates this secret world with laughable results.’
- ‘However, it was not only in theater that this stage Irish character of whiteface began to appear.’
- ‘Germans don whiteface for Carnival, while urban African blacks paint their faces white in rites of passage.’
- ‘The top dog, Lincoln, in costume and whiteface, impersonates Honest Abe in a sideshow, for customers playing Booth to shoot at.’
- ‘He has landed a ‘sit-down job, with benefits’ in an arcade, posing as Abraham Lincoln - whiteface and all - for patrons who pay to shoot blanks at him.’
- ‘In trademark whiteface and Buster Keaton regalia, Viglione pummeled his drums in a murderous rage, while Palmer's full, rich voice created a palpable drama.’
- ‘What would they have made of Edward D. Wood's horrifyingly inept cine-poems - or of Oscar Micheaux's melodramas, with black actors in whiteface?’
2North American A Hereford cow or bull.
- ‘I've been breeding white-faces - pure-bred Herefords.’
3An Australian warbler with a white face.
Genus Aphelocephala, family Acanthizidae: three species
- ‘No, it's just a noise that might attract some birds, particularly things like wrens and thornbills, and saffron whitefaces which we've just seen.’
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