mullet

Business in the front; party in the back. The mullet is a popular men's hairstyle from the 1980s, which is short on the sides and long in the back.

For seven hundred years, mullet has referred to a fish, but since 1994 it has taken off as a way to describe a hairstyle. For anyone who lived through the 1980s, it can be hard to believe that the word mullet was not circulating as a haircut descriptor during the decade when the haircuts were popular. But no reference to mullet as a hairstyle appeared in print before the 1994 Beastie Boys 1994 song "Mullet Head" dubbed it "a way of life."

Definitions of mullet
  1. noun
    freshwater or coastal food fishes with a spindle-shaped body; found worldwide
    synonyms: gray mullet, grey mullet
    see moresee less
    types:
    Mugil cephalus, striped mullet
    most important commercial mullet in eastern United States
    Mugil curema, white mullet
    silvery mullet of Atlantic and Pacific coasts
    Mugil liza, liza
    similar to the striped mullet and takes its place in the Caribbean region
    type of:
    percoid, percoid fish, percoidean
    any of numerous spiny-finned fishes of the order Perciformes
  2. noun
    bottom dwelling marine warm water fishes with two barbels on the chin
    see moresee less
    types:
    Mullus surmuletus, goatfish, red mullet, surmullet
    brightly colored tropical fishes with chin barbels
    Mullus auratus, red goatfish
    body bright scarlet with 2 yellow to reddish strips on side
    Mulloidichthys martinicus, yellow goatfish
    schooling goatfish; greyish with yellow stripe
    type of:
    bottom-dweller, bottom-feeder
    a fish that lives and feeds on the bottom of a body of water
    percoid, percoid fish, percoidean
    any of numerous spiny-finned fishes of the order Perciformes
  3. noun
    highly valued lean flesh of marine or freshwater mullet
    synonyms: gray mullet, grey mullet
    see moresee less
    type of:
    fish
    the flesh of fish used as food
  4. noun
    a hairstyle in which the hair is left long at the back but cut short on the top and sides
    see moresee less
    type of:
    coif, coiffure, hair style, hairdo, hairstyle
    the arrangement of the hair (especially a woman's hair)
Commonly confused words

Think of "Mullet" as a 1980s Word? It's Not.

While the mullet haircut takes us back in time, the word itself should not.

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