Shave and A Haircut – Shave and A Haircut Meaning

Shave and have a haircut: What is its definition and how to use the phrase effectively in conversations?

Since the phrase “Shave and have a haircut” is quite common, you may not find it weird when first encountering it. However, have you ever wondered what the actual meaning of this phrase is? Do not miss this great chance to find the answer. This article will help you learn about where it comes from and other meanings if they are available. Also, to help you better understand the usage of the idiomatic phrase “Shave and have a haircut”, this article will provide you with helpful examples as well as some alternative expressions.

Shave and A Haircut - Shave and A Haircut Meaning

Shave and have a haircut

What is the definition of “Shave and have a haircut”?

The “shave and a haircut” and the resulting “two-bits” response are often referred to as a seven-note musical call-and-response composite and are often used at the end of a musical performance. People frequently used it in tune or rhythm, for example, as a person clapping.

In the United States, “two bits” is an archaism meaning 25 cents or a quarter (three months). Meanwhile, “6-bit” is a term sometimes used. The last word in Australia could be “get lost,” “drop dead,” or some other sardonic phrase. The term “five bob” (slang for five shillings) was once widely used in the United Kingdom, although it is now rarely used in rhythm and music.

In other countries, the phrase “Shave and have a haircut” is used differently. For example, if the melody is quite offensive in Mexico, in the Netherlands, it is used to describe someone leaving with the aim of not returning.

What is the beginning of the phrase “Shave and have a haircut”?

The term “shave and a haircut” is derived from morse code, which is a short-tap international language.

The song “At a Darktown Cakewalk,” written by Charles Hale in 1899, is one of the earliest examples of melody. The music was also used in other songs from the time period. In H. A. Fischler’s 1911 song “Hot Scotch Rag,” the same notes form the bridge.

Billy Murray and the American Quartet’s 1915 song “On the 5:15” has a seven-tone melody at both the opening and finish of one of the original recordings.

In his 1933 novel Hizzoner the Mayor, Joel Sayre described boats “tooting the official Malta welcome blast to the tempo of ‘Shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits, shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits, shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits, which was soon taken up by every yacht in the harbor that possessed a boiler.” Dan Shapiro, Lester Lee and Milton Berle recorded “Shaving and a Haircut-Shampoo” in 1939 with excellent music. Rosalind Rosenthal and Herbert Harper collaborated in the same year on “Shaving and Cut, Bay Rum”.

Many early cartoons, most notably Looney Tunes animations, featured “Shave and a Haircut,” which parodied anything from automobile horns to wind-blown window shutters. It was also utilized as a post-credits sequence in numerous cartoon shows. The couplet was later used as a plot device by the primary antagonist Judge Doom in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, with the concept that when toons hear the initial melody, they can’t help but conclude with the “two bits.”

Shave and A Haircut - Shave and A Haircut Meaning

“Shave and A Haircut” Real-life Examples and conversations

Example Sentences

  • Frank Sinatra’s original version of “Love and Marriage,” recorded for Capitol Records in 1955, finishes with “Shave and A Haircut.”
  • It is a familiar way to end the song with the “Shave and haircut”. It is a well-known riff suitable for 5 cents.
  • The classic “Shave and a Haircut” tactic is irresistible to any toon.

Example Conversations

In fact, people frequently use the idiomatic phrase “Shave and a Haircut” in daily life. You may hear the phrase used in a variety of contexts. If you want to know how it is used in conversational contexts, here are some examples to show you how it’s applied.

The first exchange is a duet performed by two singers.

Person 1: “Among four seasons in a year, I like summer the most. In the summer, the flowers bloomed frequently.”

Person 2: “And you are my everything, you are the best” 

Person 1: “Take the last line, friend,” 

Person 2:shave and a haircut, two bits” 

The next conversation will be between two people collaborating on a song.

Person 1: “OMG I am in trouble”

Person 2: “What is the matter with you? Can I help you?”

Person 1: I have no idea how to end this song. Any suggestions?” 

Person 2: “We could fade it out,” 

Person 1: “No, it needs something more special than that. I dreamed of a great song, but you see, it is a nightmare.”

Person 2: “OK, how about a five-cent riff-like shave and a haircut?”

Other Phrases for the Idiom

There are numerous ways to say shave and a haircut; here are some ideas of what you may say instead.

  • Do, do, do, do
  • Bom bom di bom bom


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John Jackson

You have a misspelled word. First sentence in “What is the beginning of the phrase “Shave and have a haircut”?” It should be “Morse Code”.

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