English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

An "alice band" is so named, after the one worn by Alice in Lewis Carroll's stories.

Is there a male equivalent, to describe those worn by men with long hair (e.g. David Beckham)?

David Beckham

share|improve this question
Is alice band a UK thing? I've only ever heard them called hairbands and headbands in the US. – onomatomaniak Oct 18 '11 at 11:28
Oh! Particularly for sports, I also hear them called sweatbands. That might be the most masculine alternative. – onomatomaniak Oct 18 '11 at 11:32
A sweatband is something different. It is for soaking up sweat. An alice band is for keeping your hair in place. – Urbycoz Oct 18 '11 at 11:39
Ah okay. Headband/hairband, then. – onomatomaniak Oct 18 '11 at 11:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

No; it's still called an alice band, or sometimes the gender-neutral hairband or headband. They might also be referred to as sport(s) bands but that term is slightly misleading as it could equally apply to a wristband or similar.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the tabloid press coin a term like "Beckham-band", but there's not a common male equivalent in widespread use.

share|improve this answer
FWIW, you can see (29.08.2013) an article from the Guardian on Gareth Bale using "alice band" in context. – Davïd Aug 29 '13 at 6:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.