Distant compounds: the headgear hair files

Today’s Zits, featuring a capillamentary derangement:


hoodie hair is a “distant” N + N compound, one where the semantic relationship between the two Ns (here, the head N hair ‘head of hair’ and the modifying N hoodie, referring to a  garment with a hood, a piece of built-in headgear) is not one from a small list of standard patterns, but instead  roams further afield. The pattern is the elaborately specific:

headgear-name + hair / head  ‘hair disarranged or molded from wearing a piece of headgear’

(capillamentary, a coinage based on Latin capillamentum ‘head of hair’, a derivative of capilla ‘a hair’, as in English capillary, referring to a hair-thin blood vessel, and in the type of pasta capellini (It.) ‘little hairs’)

The most common of the capillamentary derangement compounds is hat hair (sometimes hat head):


This is the result of wearing a hat or cap (ball cap or knit cap).  There are men who go to some trouble to achieve this look, for its “natural”, untamed qualities.

And then, helmet hair (or helmet head), with a bike or sports helmet in its history:


Details in “All About My (Helmet) Hair” on the headster’s blog from 5/13/10.

You will, of course, have noted the fondness for halliteration in these compounds.

Annoying political footnote: searching for images of helmet hair pulls up a fair number of photos of Helmet GrabPussy, the POTUS-E.

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