"bow-catcher" Definition

Definitions for the word "bow-catcher" from multiple English dictionaries.

1. slang
or KISS-CURL, a small curl which a few years back used to be, and probably will be again some day, twisted on the cheeks or temples of young—and often old—girls, adhering to the face as if gummed or pasted. Evidently a corruption of BEAU-CATCHER. In old times this was called a lovelock, when it was the mark at which all the Puritan and ranting preachers levelled their pulpit pop-guns, loaded with sharp and virulent abuse. Hall and Prynne looked upon all women as strumpets who dared to let the hair depart from a straight line upon their cheeks. The French prettily termed these adornments _accroche-cœurs_, whilst in the United States they were plainly and unpleasantly called “spit-curls.” Bartlett says: “Spit-curl, a detached lock of hair curled upon the temple; probably from having been at first plastered into shape by the saliva.” It is now understood that the mucilage of quince seed is used by the ladies for this purpose. When men twist the hair on each side of their faces into ropes they are sometimes called “bell-ropes,” as being wherewith to _draw the belles_. Whether BELL-ROPES or BOW-CATCHERS, it is singular they should form part of a prisoner’s adornment, and that a jaunty little kiss-curl should, of all things in the world, ornament a jail dock; yet such was formerly the case. Hunt, “the accomplice after the fact and King’s evidence against” the murderer of Weare, on his trial appeared at the bar with a highly pomatumed love-lock sticking tight to his forehead. In the days of the Civil Wars, the very last thing a Cavalier would part with was his love-lock.
Source: The Slang Dictionary, 1864

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