Skip to main content
Home >> Words >> WotM >> False face

false face

Note: This is a new entry also available in our Quarterly Updates and will be added to Digital DARE's annual update in 2016.

false face n Cf doughface n

A mask.
1799 Federal Gaz. & Baltimore Daily Advt. (MD) 18 May [3]/2, A fellow was taken up to-day for wearing a false face, but as it is a thing so very common now a days, we understand, he was dismissed! 1844 New-York Spectator (NY) 31 July [4]/4, The tenants who favor the opposition to the payment of rent dress in Indian fashion, . . wearing . . a false face cut out of leather. 1872 U.S. Congress Rept. Joint Select Comm. Insurrectionary States 2.489 cwNC, Question. How was Owens disguised? Answer. Well, he had on one of those false-faces. You have seen many a one, I reckon. 1880 Atlantic Mth. 45.600 ME, Samuel McIntyre . . brought over from the main-land what he spoke of chiefly as a “false face.” It was a mask of the ordinary grotesque kind. 1911 Cleveland Plain Dealer (OH) 29 Oct sec A 9/3, [Advt:] Halloween Masks—We have that false face you want for Tuesday night, grotesque and funny. 1937 Chester Times (PA) 2 Nov 1/7, Concealing his identity with a Hallowe’en false face, a Negro youth entered a gasoline filling station . . and attacked the attendant. 1955 Bridgeport Sun. Post (CT) 30 Oct 13/1, Home-made pumpkin pie judging contest, home-made false face contest and other novelties. 1986 Indiana Gaz. (PA) 1 Nov 4/2, According to police, a male wearing a false face and long overcoat opened the coat and exposed himself to the woman. 1996 DARE File MS (as of c1950), "False faces" . . I had forgotten that term, even though it was what we always called Halloween masks when I was little. Ibid nKY (as of 1940s), [Resp:] Me too (Louisville, 1940’s). Ibid sOH (as of 1940s–50s), [Resp:] Me too—southern Ohio (Xenia) in the 1940s and 50s. 2009 Ibid sIN (as of c1940), When I was a kid, we always called the kind of mask you wear at Halloween a false face. 2014 Ibid eTX [Black], False face was, so to speak, the “standard,” as it were, B[lack] E[nglish] term for “Hallowe’en mask.” Ibid NYC, My grandmother (born in NYC in 1880s) also used “false face” (stress on “false”) as her ordinary word for “Halloween mask.” . . [A] “false-face” didn’t have to be worn specifically on or for Halloween, but it did have to cover the entire face.
Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes