Where did ‘Scousebrow’ originate?

Although we are not focused on one type of brow, as part of our project we are interested in finding out what people think about the ‘Scousebrow’. It has gotten negative press and snark (not linking, but easily found), and we’re interested in knowing whether such attitudes are shared by those who live in Merseyside. In order to understand the brow, you can go to YouTubers who describe what it is and how it’s done. These are varied and, looking through them, the ‘how to create the Scousebrow’ video advice peaked around 2014.

A question we are sometimes asked is: where did the word originate? It may not seem like it, but the word emerged relatively recently in 2011. For more detail, take a look at this academic paper which considers three English dialects (Scouse, Geordie, and Cockney) and a selection of related words in online searches. The author describes two details that are useful for this project. The first is that Scouse is only in use to describe someone from Liverpool since 1945 (Jensen 2017, 53) and, the second is that Scousebrow came into use thanks to the Channel 4 scripted reality TV show Desperate Scousewives (2011-12). Scousebrow became a major search term online in Scouse-related words reaching a peak in 2016 (Jensen 2017, 61-63). This is a fascinating phenomenon that has had wide-ranging coverage and interest. We would love to know how you feel about the Scousebrow, if you are from Merseyside and sculpt and craft your brows. So, come to our event at FACT from the 25th-28th of April and tell us about your brows.

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