Skip to main content

Hair Cutting...... Saloon?

The word 'saloon' is a word which I associate with westerns.  That is, Hollywood films set in the old days when the United States was pushing it's frontiers as far west as possible.  In that time, the west side of the United States seems to have been referred to as the 'wild west.'  The saloon was the place where these cowboys would hang out, play cards, drink liquor and challenge each other to pistol fights.  There usually wasn't a woman in sight except maybe a certain type of woman.  Certainly not your churchgoing type, no disrespect meant.

When I was a young girl in Ireland, many years ago, the word 'salon' (and NOT saloon!) was a fancy name for what we commonly just called 'the hairdresser's'.  It referred to the place where women go to have their hair cut, coloured and styled.  It  could also refer to the  beauty parlour where people (mostly women!) go to have facials, manicures and  pedicures, sunbed treatments etc.  Hairdressers in those days had a penchant for double-barrelled  names (French names particularly) so you had a lot of 'salons' with names like "Jeanne Marie's Hair and Beauty Salon" and "John Michael's Hair Cutting Salon".   I must admit "James Michael's Hair Cutting Salon" does have a certain ring to it.  Beats "Jim's Barbershop" hands down every time.  Although as far as I am aware, certain red blooded males continued to patronise the barbershops for a very long time and wouldn't be seen dead in anything as girly as a 'salon.'  All a matter of  personal taste really.

Here in India, however the words 'salon' and 'saloon' have become confused.  We actually have 'hair cutting saloons' here.  These 'saloons' don't have cowboys drinking liquor and playing cards.  Indians (and not the red variety) come here to get their hair cut.  For anyone interested in reading further on the subject, there is a nice post over on Ramana's Musings about hair cutting saloons.  Or at least one in particular.

However, the men in my house still prefer the roadside barber.   


Comments

  1. The mention of the roadside barber suddenly reminded me of a ladies hairdressing salon in Dublin from my working days. Gaelikaa, you might remember 'The Witch's Hut' - very expensive and he used to take clients out onto the pavement to cut their hair.... maybe it started on that one summer day we had an fado! lol. I think it was more of a publicity stunt really.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And not just in India... the local barbers in the village where I used to live was called (without irony) the hairdressing saloon...

    Not the local signwriter's best day at work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gaelkaa, thanks for the plug in. Indian English will overcome! In South India, cafe was pronounced Kayf and in Tamil it was phonetically written as such but since they do not have a 'f' they used p, and back again to English as Cape.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I'd also prefer a roadside barber to a saloon. But then again, drinking, playing cards and shooting things while having my haircut is very appealing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stopping by from SITS to say Hi to mt SITSer!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's so amusing. As a child, I confused the words. Evidently so does India. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. We do say sometimes that we are heading off to be "scalped" when we go for a haircut. Perhaps the American Westernization has something to do with that.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My sister is a hairdresser which means that about once every 3 or 4 years (when I go home to Scotland) there's someone I trust to cut my hair!

    ReplyDelete
  9. that is certainly a funny play on words! I just say I'm going to the hair place, lol :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a fascinating post. Thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How funny! I had no idea!
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog the other day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ours are listed as Salons. A saloon is where you go after you get the nice haircut so you can scope the babes! haha!

    ReplyDelete
  13. haha. in the US we have fancy salons too. otherwise, i just call it "the haircutting place" haha.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I suppose there are lots of places in the world where translating a word with different meanings ends up being used in different ways. I know when I was in Japan in the early 1950s that English was translated in ways that were incredible -- like who would ever have thought of that! And then there were things that were just funny or odd sounding.

    I enjoyed my visit to your blog and appreciate your having visiting mine and left a generous comment.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog

The Climate in my Hometown LBC Post

I am originally from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. We have a maritime climate, neither too hot nor too cold. Cool, wet winters and warm summers.  We get the odd freak weather condition, like several feet of snow, once in a while to make life interesting.  Pretty ideal really.  

Now I reside in Lucknow in north India. In the Indo-Gangetic plain.  Cold dry winters, roasting hot summers and a humid rainy season.  It seems like it's always too hot or too cold. Or too humid. Humidity is something I dread.  It brings itching, rashes and all of that.  Okay, too hot will work for me. So will too cold (although I hate dry cold, that's energy-sapping). But humidity is .......not at all good. And that's a euphemism if ever there was one,. 

I wish to dedicate this post to my beloved and erudite rakhi brother Rummuser, who suggested this topic.

And thanks to freedigitalphotos.net for the above illustration, 'Paper Weather Icon Illustration' by SweetCrisis.

The Loose Blogging C…

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.



The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …

Impatience

Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…