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five o'clock shadow


b) darkness on a man's face due to hair growth over the day

German translation:

five o'clock shadow = die Bartstoppeln, der Bartschatten

five o'clock shadow: approximately 100,000 Google hits



Sample text:

Mr Milner who was last seen on Thursday, is 5 ft 8 in, slim and has short dark hair with a FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.

(BBC News)

"I’ve been dancing all my life, since I was 3," Mr. Grant, 28, said backstage, while patting on the heavy camouflage foundation make-up required to conceal FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW.

(New York Times)

Did you know?

five o'clock shadow
noun phrase

- the slight darkness on a man's face, especially his chin, caused by the growth of hair during the day

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

American politician Adlai Stevenson ran twice for the U.S. presidency and lost both times to Dwight Eisenhower. Although disappointed, he accepted his failed efforts with a sense of humour by concluding that, "The best reason I can think of for not running for President of the United States is that you have to shave twice a day."

This was in the 50s and 60s when men generally avoided the five o'clock shadow so that no one would think they were homeless. Thanks to celebrities like Hollywood star George Clooney, these days the five o'clock shadow is acceptable and even considered attractive.

This expression dates from the 30s and was first used in an advertising campaign for Gem razor blades and contained the line: "Gem blades are made by the makers of your Gem razor. They fit precisely. This famous combination positively prevents 5 o'clock shadow."

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"I generally shave twice a day in order to avoid five o'clock shadow."

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