Mo-tache-tic: Origins of the Mo and Movember

Mo-STAR, Movember


It’s All About the Bros This Movember

November, known for the no-shave event Movember, when men across the world stop shaving their moustaches, even beards, to raise awareness of men’s health issues. The charity refers to all men involved in the event as Mo Bros!

Movember is a *portmanteau of mo, the diminutive word for moustache, and November. The charity organisation was originally set up in 2004 in New Zealand and Australia. Hence the word mo being an Australian-English word of origin. Since 2007, events were launched in Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ireland, Israel, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and the United States.

Etymology of the Tache

It can be spelt mostache or Moustache in both British and American English. “Moustache” first appeared in French in the early 1580s and possibly derived from the Italian word mostaccio or the Medieval Greek, moustakion.

In ancient Greek, mastax or mystax meant jaws; mouth while the genitive, mystakos meant upper lip. As a verb, mastax literal meaning was, “that which one chews.” Some linguists have traced these words back to the PIE root mendh-, to chew.

*Portmanteau [as a modifier]: Consisting of or combining two or more aspects or qualities.

For more information on Movember and the charities involved, visit:

The STAR Team
Sources: Online Etymology Dictionary; Wikipedia