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mullet, n.9

Brit. Hear pronunciation/ˈmʌlᵻt/
U.S. Hear pronunciation/ˈmələt/
Frequency (in current use):  Show frequency band information
Origin: Of uncertain origin.
Etymology: Origin uncertain. Perhaps an extended use of mullet-head n. 1; but Grand Royal (1995) No. 2 proposes a number of other, largely humorous origins, including a relationship with mullet n.1   and with the obsolete mullet v.
Apparently coined, and certainly popularized, by U.S. hip-hop group the Beastie Boys (see quot. 1994), who also publish Grand Royal.
slang (humorous and frequently derogatory).

  A hairstyle, worn esp. by men, in which the hair is cut short at the front and sides, and left long at the back.

1994   ‘Beastie Boys’ Mullet Head (transcribed from song) in Ill Communication   You wanna know what's a mullet? Well I got a little story to tell About a hair style, that's a way of life Have you ever seen a mullet wife?
1995   Grand Royal No. 2. 46   The Mullet does not discriminate, though it is rare to see one worn by a senior citizen of any stripe.
1997   Independent on Sunday 2 Feb. (Real Life section) 2/1   Connoisseurs of the absurd in gentlemen's hairdressing have been enjoying a laugh at..those unfortunates who continue to commit that most heinous fashion don't—the Mullet.
1998   Sunday Mirror 12 Apr. (Personal Suppl.) 3/2   The Mullet... If you have one, then a word in your ear: Scissors.
2000   Sunday Herald (Glasgow) 16 Apr. (Seven Days section) 1/4   A malodorous guy with a flowing mullet.

1994—2000(Hide quotations)


This is a new entry (OED Third Edition, June 2001; latest version published online April 2020).