The Moustache

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Welcome to this British English reading and listening comprehension exercise, designed to help you improve your English language reading and listening skills as well as your vocabulary and grammar. In this lesson, we will explore the topic of The Moustache. As you read the text, The Moustache, pay close attention to vocabulary and content as after reading or listening, you will test your understanding of The Moustache with multiple-choice questions. This exercise will not only enhance your reading and listening comprehension but also provide you with valuable knowledge about The Moustache. Good luck and enjoy the exercises!

The moustache has a rich and varied history, serving as a symbol of masculinity, wisdom, and social status across different cultures and time periods. From prehistoric origins to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, moustaches have held cultural significance. Throughout the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and 19th century, moustache styles evolved, reflecting the tastes and values of each era. Despite periods of decline in popularity, moustaches have experienced resurgences, most notably in the 20th century and the 21st century's Movember movement and hipster subculture. Today, moustache styles continue to diversify and adapt, reflecting personal identity and self-expression, ensuring the moustache's continued presence in our cultural landscape.

A Comprehensive History of the Moustache

The moustache, a distinctive facial hair style characterized by hair grown on the upper lip, has a long and storied history. It has been worn by men across cultures, time periods, and social classes. This comprehensive history of the moustache traces its origins, explores its cultural significance, and discusses the various styles that have emerged over time.

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origins of facial hair, evidence of moustaches can be found in prehistoric cave paintings and sculptures. Early humans likely wore facial hair for practical reasons, such as warmth and protection from the elements.

The moustache has been a prominent feature in many ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. In these societies, facial hair was often associated with wisdom, masculinity, and social status.

In Ancient Egypt, Pharaohs and nobles often sported moustaches, sometimes incorporating false moustaches made of gold during ceremonies and rituals. In the Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian cultures of Mesopotamia, moustaches were common among men of high status, including kings and warriors. Prominent figures in ancient Greece, such as philosophers and statesmen, wore moustaches to signify their wisdom and intellect. Moustaches were less popular during the Roman Empire, but still present among some of the military and political elites.

During the Middle Ages, moustaches were worn by knights and nobles as a symbol of their social standing. Moustaches became more popular during the Renaissance, and various styles emerged, such as the handlebar and pencil moustache. The moustache was also popular in Islamic societies, where it was considered a sign of maturity and masculinity. Many prominent Islamic scholars and warriors wore moustaches.

The moustache experienced a decline in popularity during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as clean-shaven faces became the norm in many European countries. However, moustaches regained popularity in the nineteenth century, particularly among military personnel. Moustaches were also popular in the United States during the nineteenth century, particularly during the Civil War and the Wild West era, where they were worn by soldiers, lawmen, and outlaws alike.

Moustaches were widespread among European and American military personnel during World War I, with styles such as the "toothbrush" moustache (popularized by Charlie Chaplin) and the "walrus" moustache (worn by Theodore Roosevelt) gaining prominence. After World War I, moustaches experienced a decline in popularity as clean-shaven faces became more fashionable. However, they persisted in some subcultures and among specific personalities, such as Salvador Dalí, whose iconic moustache became a symbol of his eccentricity.

The moustache saw a resurgence in the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties, with styles such as the "pornstache" and the "Tom Selleck" moustache gaining widespread popularity. In the early two thousands, the Movember movement began in Australia, encouraging men to grow moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues, including prostate cancer and testicular cancer. The movement quickly spread across the globe, leading to a renewed interest in moustaches and their cultural significance.

As part of a broader cultural trend towards retro and vintage aesthetics, moustaches have seen a resurgence in popularity among younger generations, particularly in urban and hipster circles. Styles such as the handlebar, pencil, and chevron moustaches have become fashionable once again. Today, moustache styles continue to evolve and diversify, with individuals embracing their own unique interpretations and cultural influences. This has led to the creation of many new and innovative moustache styles that reflect personal identity and self-expression.

Throughout history, the moustache has been a powerful symbol of masculinity, social status, and cultural identity. It has experienced periods of popularity and decline, but has always managed to adapt and find a place in different societies and cultural contexts. From its prehistoric origins to its modern-day resurgence, the moustache remains a fascinating and enduring element of human expression. As we continue to explore and redefine our understanding of identity and self-expression, the moustache will undoubtedly continue to play a role in shaping our cultural landscape.

/ ə ˌkɒm.prɪ.ˈhen.sɪv ˈhɪ.str̩i əv ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ /

/ ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ / ə dɪ.ˈstɪŋk.tɪv ˈfeɪʃ.l̩ heə staɪl ˈkæ.rək.tə.raɪzd baɪ heə ɡrəʊn ɒn ði ˈʌ.pə lɪp / həz ə ˈlɒŋ ənd ˈstɔː.rɪd ˈhɪ.str̩i / ˈɪt həz biːn wɔːn baɪ men ə.ˈkrɒs ˈkʌl.tʃəz / ˈtaɪm ˈpɪə.rɪədz / ənd ˈsəʊʃ.l̩ ˈklɑː.sɪz / ðɪs ˌkɒm.prɪ.ˈhen.sɪv ˈhɪ.str̩i əv ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ ˈtreɪ.sɪz ɪts ˈɒr.ɪdʒ.ɪnz / ɪk.ˈsplɔːz ɪts ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl sɪɡ.ˈnɪ.fɪkəns / ənd dɪ.ˈskʌ.sɪz ðə ˈveə.rɪəs staɪlz ðət həv ɪ.ˈmɜːdʒd ˈəʊv.ə ˈtaɪm /

/ waɪl ˈɪt s ˈdɪ.fɪkəlt tə ˈpɪnpɔɪnt ði ɪɡ.ˈzækt ˈɒr.ɪdʒ.ɪnz əv ˈfeɪʃ.l̩ heə / ˈe.vɪ.dəns əv mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz kən bi faʊnd ɪn ˌpriː.hɪ.ˈstɒ.rɪk keɪv ˈpeɪn.tɪŋz ənd ˈskʌlp.tʃəz / ˈɜː.li ˈhjuː.mənz ˈlaɪ wɔː ˈfeɪʃ.l̩ heə fə ˈpræk.tɪk.l̩ ˈriː.zənz / sʌtʃ əz wɔːmθ ənd prə.ˈtek.ʃn̩ frəm ði ˈel.ɪ.mənts /

/ ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ həz biːn ə ˈprɒ.mɪ.nənt ˈfiː.tʃər ɪn ˈmen.i ˈeɪn.ʃənt ˌsɪ.vɪ.laɪ.ˈzeɪʃ.n̩z / ɪn.ˈkluːd.ɪŋ ˈiː.dʒɪpt / ˌme.sə.pə.ˈteɪ.miə / ˈɡriːs / ənd rəʊm / ɪn ðiːz sə.ˈsaɪə.tɪz / ˈfeɪʃ.l̩ heə wəz ˈɒf.n̩ ə.ˈsəʊ.ʃieɪ.tɪd wɪð ˈwɪz.dəm / ˌmæ.skjʊ.ˈlɪ.nɪ.ti / ənd ˈsəʊʃ.l̩ ˈsteɪ.təs /

/ ɪn ˈeɪn.ʃənt ˈiː.dʒɪpt / ˈfeə.rəʊz ənd ˈnəʊb.l̩z ˈɒf.n̩ ˈspɔː.tɪd mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz / ˈsʌm.taɪmz ɪnˈk.ɔː.pə.reɪt.ɪŋ ˈfɔːls mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz ˈmeɪd əv ɡəʊld ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ˈse.rɪ.mə.nɪz ənd ˈrɪ.tʃʊəlz / ɪn ðə suː.mɪər.eɪn / ə.ˈsɪ.riən / ənd ˌbæ.bə.ˈləʊ.niən ˈkʌl.tʃəz əv ˌme.sə.pə.ˈteɪ.miə / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz wə ˈkɒ.mən ə.ˈmʌŋ men əv haɪ ˈsteɪ.təs / ɪn.ˈkluːd.ɪŋ kɪŋz ənd ˈwɒ.rɪəz / ˈprɒ.mɪ.nənt ˈfɪɡ.əz ɪn ˈeɪn.ʃənt ˈɡriːs / sʌtʃ əz fɪ.ˈlɒ.sə.fəz ənd ˈsteɪt.smən / wɔː mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz tə ˈsɪɡ.nɪ.faɪ ðeə ˈwɪz.dəm ənd ˈɪn.tə.lekt / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz wə les ˈpɒ.pjʊ.lə ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə ˈrəʊ.mən ˈem.paɪə / bət stɪl prɪ.ˈzent ə.ˈmʌŋ səm əv ðə ˈmɪ.lɪ.tri ənd pə.ˈlɪ.tɪk.l̩ eɪ.ˈliːts /

/ ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə ˈmɪd.l̩ ˈeɪ.dʒɪz / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz wə wɔːn baɪ naɪts ənd ˈnəʊb.l̩z əz ə ˈsɪ̩ əv ðeə ˈsəʊʃ.l̩ ˈstænd.ɪŋ / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz bɪˈk.eɪm mɔː ˈpɒ.pjʊ.lə ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə rɪ.ˈneɪsns / ənd ˈveə.rɪəs staɪlz ɪ.ˈmɜːdʒd / sʌtʃ əz ðə ˈhændl.bɑːr ənd ˈ̩ mə.ˈstɑːʃ / ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ wəz ˈɔːls.əʊ ˈpɒ.pjʊ.lər ɪn ɪz.ˈlæ.mɪk sə.ˈsaɪə.tɪz / weər ˈɪt wəz kən.ˈsɪ.dəd ə saɪn əv mə.ˈtjʊə.rɪ.ti ənd ˌmæ.skjʊ.ˈlɪ.nɪ.ti / ˈmen.i ˈprɒ.mɪ.nənt ɪz.ˈlæ.mɪk ˈskɒ.ləz ənd ˈwɒ.rɪəz wɔː mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz /

/ ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ ɪk.ˈspɪə.rɪənst ə dɪ.ˈklaɪn ɪn ˌpɒ.pjʊ.ˈlæ.rɪ.ti ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə ˌsevn.ˈtiːnθ ənd ˌeɪ.ˈtiːnθ ˈsen.tʃə.rɪz / əz kliːn ˈʃeɪv.n̩ ˈfeɪ.sɪz bɪˈk.eɪm ðə nɔːm ɪn ˈmen.i ˌjʊə.rə.ˈpɪən ˈkʌn.trɪz / haʊ.ˈe.və / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz rɪ.ˈɡeɪnd ˌpɒ.pjʊ.ˈlæ.rɪ.ti ɪn ðə ˌnaɪn.ˈtiːnθ ˈsen.tʃə.ri / pə.ˈtɪ.kjʊ.lə.li ə.ˈmʌŋ ˈmɪ.lɪ.tri ˌpɜː.sə.ˈnel / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz wər ˈɔːls.əʊ ˈpɒ.pjʊ.lər ɪn ðə ju.ˈnaɪt.ɪd steɪts ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə ˌnaɪn.ˈtiːnθ ˈsen.tʃə.ri / pə.ˈtɪ.kjʊ.lə.li ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə ˈsɪ.vəl wɔːr ənd ðə waɪld west ˈɪə.rə / weə ˈðeɪ wə wɔːn baɪ ˈsəʊl.dʒəz / ˈlɔː.mæn / ənd ˈaʊt.lɔːz ə.ˈlaɪk /

/ mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz wə ˈwaɪd.spred ə.ˈmʌŋ ˌjʊə.rə.ˈpɪən ənd ə.ˈmer.ɪk.ən ˈmɪ.lɪ.tri ˌpɜː.sə.ˈnel ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ wɜːld wɔːr ˈaɪ / wɪð staɪlz sʌtʃ əz ðə ˈtuːθ.brʌʃ mə.ˈstɑːʃ ˈpɒ.pjʊ.lə.raɪzd baɪ ˈtʃɑː.li ˈtʃæ.plən ənd ðə ˈwɔːl.rəs mə.ˈstɑːʃ wɔːn baɪ ˈθiːə.dɔː ˈrozə.ˌvelt ˈɡeɪn.ɪŋ ˈprɒ.mɪ.nəns / ˈɑːf.tə wɜːld wɔːr ˈaɪ / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz ɪk.ˈspɪə.rɪənst ə dɪ.ˈklaɪn ɪn ˌpɒ.pjʊ.ˈlæ.rɪ.ti əz kliːn ˈʃeɪv.n̩ ˈfeɪ.sɪz bɪˈk.eɪm mɔː ˈfæ.ʃnəb.l̩ / haʊ.ˈe.və / ˈðeɪ pə.ˈsɪ.stɪd ɪn səm ˈsʌbk.ʌl.tʃərz ənd ə.ˈmʌŋ spə.ˈsɪ.fɪk ˌpɜː.sə.ˈnæ.lɪ.tɪz / sʌtʃ əz ˈsæl.və.dɔː dæ.li / huːz aɪˈk.ɒ.nɪk mə.ˈstɑːʃ bɪˈk.eɪm ə ˈsɪ̩ əv ɪz ˌek.sen.ˈtrɪ.sɪ.ti /

/ ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ ˈsɔːr ə rɪ.ˈsɜː.dʒəns ɪn ðə ˌnaɪn.ˈtiːn ˈsevn.tɪz ənd ˌnaɪn.ˈtiːn ˈeɪ.tɪz / wɪð staɪlz sʌtʃ əz ðə ˈpɔːn.stæʃ ənd ðə tɒm ˈse.lɪk mə.ˈstɑːʃ ˈɡeɪn.ɪŋ ˈwaɪd.spred ˌpɒ.pjʊ.ˈlæ.rɪ.ti / ɪn ði ˈɜː.li ˈtuː ˈθaʊz.n̩dz / ðə muːv ˈem.bə ˈmuːv.mənt bɪ.ˈɡæn ɪn ɒ.ˈstreɪ.liə / ɪnˈk.ʌ.rɪdʒ.ɪŋ men tə ɡrəʊ mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ðə mʌnθ əv nəʊ.ˈvem.bə tə reɪz ə.ˈweə.nəs ənd fʌndz fə menz helθ ˈɪ.ʃuːz / ɪn.ˈkluːd.ɪŋ ˈprɒst.eɪt ˈkæn.sər ənd te.ˈstɪk.jʊl.ə ˈkæn.sə / ðə ˈmuːv.mənt ˈkwɪ.kli spred ə.ˈkrɒs ðə ɡləʊb / ˈliːd.ɪŋ tu ə rɪ.ˈnjuːd ˈɪn.trəst ɪn mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz ənd ðeə ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl sɪɡ.ˈnɪ.fɪkəns /

/ əz pɑːt əv ə ˈbrɔː.də ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl trend tə.ˈwɔːdz ˈre.trəʊ ənd ˈvɪn.tɪdʒ iːs.ˈθe.tɪks / mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz həv ˈsiːn ə rɪ.ˈsɜː.dʒəns ɪn ˌpɒ.pjʊ.ˈlæ.rɪ.ti ə.ˈmʌŋ ˈjʌŋ.ɡə ˌdʒen.ə.ˈreɪʃ.n̩z / pə.ˈtɪ.kjʊ.lə.li ɪn ˈɜː.bən ənd ˈhɪp.stə.zə ˈsɜːk.l̩z / staɪlz sʌtʃ əz ðə ˈhændl.bɑː / ˈ̩ / ənd ˈʃe.vrən mə.ˈstɑː.ʃɪz həv bɪˈkʌm ˈfæ.ʃnəb.l̩ wʌns ə.ˈɡen / tə.ˈdeɪ / mə.ˈstɑːʃ staɪlz kən.ˈtɪ.njuː tu ɪ.ˈvɒlv ənd daɪ.ˈvɜː.sɪ.faɪ / wɪð ˌɪn.dɪ.ˈvɪ.dʒʊəlz ɪm.ˈbreɪs.ɪŋ ðeər əʊn juː.ˈniːk ɪn.ˌtɜː.prɪ.ˈteɪʃ.n̩z ənd ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl ˈɪn.flʊən.sɪz / ðɪs həz led tə ðə kriː.ˈeɪʃ.n̩ əv ˈmen.i njuː ənd ˈɪ.nə.veɪ.tɪv mə.ˈstɑːʃ staɪlz ðət rɪ.ˈflekt ˈpɜː.sən.l̩ aɪ.ˈden.tɪ.ti ənd ˈsel.fɪks.ˈpre.ʃən /

/ θruː.ˈaʊt ˈhɪ.str̩i / ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ həz biːn ə ˈpaʊə.fəl ˈsɪ̩ əv ˌmæ.skjʊ.ˈlɪ.nɪ.ti / ˈsəʊʃ.l̩ ˈsteɪ.təs / ənd ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl aɪ.ˈden.tɪ.ti / ˈɪt həz ɪk.ˈspɪə.rɪənst ˈpɪə.rɪədz əv ˌpɒ.pjʊ.ˈlæ.rɪ.ti ənd dɪ.ˈklaɪn / bət həz ˈɔːl.weɪz ˈmæ.nɪdʒd tu ə.ˈdæpt ənd faɪnd ə ˈpleɪs ɪn ˈdɪ.frənt sə.ˈsaɪə.tɪz ənd ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl ˈkɒn.teksts / frəm ɪts ˌpriː.hɪ.ˈstɒ.rɪk ˈɒr.ɪdʒ.ɪnz tu ɪts ˈmɒd.n̩ ˈdeɪ rɪ.ˈsɜː.dʒəns / ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ rɪ.ˈmeɪnz ə ˈfæ.sɪ.neɪt.ɪŋ ənd ɪn.ˈdjʊər.ɪŋ ˈel.ɪ.mənt əv ˈhjuː.mən ɪk.ˈspreʃ.n̩ / əz wi kən.ˈtɪ.njuː tu ɪk.ˈsplɔːr ənd ˌriː.dɪ.ˈfaɪn ˈaʊər ˌʌn.də.ˈstænd.ɪŋ əv aɪ.ˈden.tɪ.ti ənd ˈsel.fɪks.ˈpre.ʃən / ðə mə.ˈstɑːʃ wl̩ ʌn.ˈdaʊ.tɪ kən.ˈtɪ.njuː tə ˈpleɪ ə rəʊl ɪn ˈʃeɪp.ɪŋ ˈaʊə ˈkʌl.tʃə.rəl ˈlænd.skeɪp /

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The Moustache Comprehension Questions

To read the text, click the Readings button above. To listen to the audio, click the Audio button above. To read the IPA transcript, click the IPA Script button above. See if you can answer the comprehension questions below.

1. What was the primary reason early humans likely wore facial hair?

2. In ancient civilizations, what was the moustache commonly associated with?

3. What was the significance of moustaches in ancient Egypt?

4. Which moustache style gained prominence during the Renaissance?

5. What was the perception of moustaches in Islamic societies during the Middle Ages and Renaissance?

6. In which era did moustaches experience a decline in popularity in Europe?

7. What event in the early 2000s contributed to a renewed interest in moustaches?

8. Which moustache style is associated with Salvador Dalí?

9. In the 21st century, which subculture has contributed to the resurgence of moustache popularity?

10. What is a key aspect of the modern evolution and diversification of moustache styles?

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Welcome to the Britlish Library!

We are delighted to introduce you to our innovative and comprehensive English learning platform, meticulously designed to cater to learners with diverse needs and preferences. Our three distinct membership levels - Curiosity, Wisdom, and Genius - offer tailored experiences, ensuring that you find the perfect fit for your English learning journey. Whether you're seeking full access to our extensive library of expertly crafted lessons, an ad-free learning environment, or exclusive benefits like customizable worksheets and the ability to request specific topics for lessons, the Britlish Library has something for everyone. Explore our membership options, and embark on a personalized and engaging journey towards English mastery with the Britlish Library today!

Learn Spanish

Our sister site,, is an innovative and comprehensive Spanish learning platform which also has an extensive library of expertly crafted lessons, an ad-free learning environment, customizable worksheets, and the ability to request specific topics for Spanish lessons. If you are learning, or have thought of learning Spanish, Spanlan is a great place to start!