Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Barber (Low Latin barbarius, from barba, a beard). The calling of a barber is of considerable antiquity (see Ezek. v. 1). The nature of the profession obviously makes the barber a purveyor of news and gossip; and the characters of the barber in the Arabian Nights and in Rossini's Barber of Seville are well known. In mediaeval times the barber also performed such minor surgical operations as tooth-drawing and blood-letting. The Company of Barber-Surgeons was incorporated under Edward I., but the two professions were separated in England by an Act of Parliament in 1545. The long striped pole now often seen outside the barber's door is said to typify an arm bound round with ribbon previous to bleeding.