How Were Sideburns Named?
Sideburns were named after Ambrose E. Burnside, a U.S. Civil War general who popularized this style of beard that connected thick sideburns by way of a moustache, but left the chin clean-shaven.
They were originally called “burnsides,” but the name later was turned around to “sideburns” probably because of their location on the sides of the face.
Sideburns can be worn and grown in combination with other styles of facial hair, such as the moustache or goatee, but once they extend from ear to ear via the chin they cease to be sideburns and become a beard, chinstrap beard, or chin curtain.
Friendly mutton chops are a variation which adds a connecting mustache to the side burns.
There are many types of beards and each one has a name for a special reason. For example, the short, pointed “Vandyke” gets its name because the Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck used to paint men with this kind of beard.
And the “goatee” is so called because it resembles the beard of a goat.