Bald, bold, or bull: a treatise on lies

I grew up a soft-spoken child, the strong silent type who settled disagreements through action rather than lengthy discourse. However, somewhere along the line I became a bit of a wordsmith, enjoying dropping large and complicated phrases to make myself sound smarter and, partially, with the hope of attracting ladies with my huge... vocabulary.

That said, I came upon a phrase I enjoyed quite a bit: bald-faced lie. I don't know why, perhaps because it suggested that only completely bald men lied. In high school, I had a friend that also liked this phrase. The problem was he said "bull-faced lie."

My world was turned upside down. Admittedly, though, a bull-faced lie was even more fun to picture than a bald-faced one.

Years pass, and I continue using "bull-faced lie" with reckless abandon. Then, just like that, someone comes along and flips my world over again. Apparently, I hadn't just been wrong since high school, I had been wrong all my life. "It's not bull-faced lie," my friend tells me. "It's bold-faced lie."

"Not bald-faced lie, either?"

"Nope," she assures me, confidently. So, of course, I believed her. I thought the entire debacle was kind of funny, so decided to write a little story about it. Then, just moments ago when I started writing this, I thought I'd Google "bald-faced lie" to see if anyone else has ever had similar linguistic trouble. And if you hadn't guessed already, my world did another somersault.

Seems I was right all along. According to WikiAnswers...
The correct term is bald-faced, and refers to a face wihout whiskers. Beards were commonly worn by businessmen in the 18th and 19th century as an attempt to mask facial expressions when making business deals. Thus a bald-faced liar was a very good liar indeed, and was able to lie without the guilt showing on his face.
...though, apparently...
It's just the last 5 yrs or so that "bold" has come into usage. It refers to typeface. It is used metaphorically in speech. In the same way that a typesetter uses bold face type to highlight specific text and set it apart, a bold face lie stands out in such a way as to not be mistaken for the truth.
"Bull-faced lie" was only found on the Urban Dictionary, as an alternative to "bold-face lie."

To put all this lying business to rest, I did the old Google search result litmus test. Here are the results.


Bull-faced lie: 1,130 results.
Bold-faced lie: 79,500 results.
Bald-faced lie: 91,400 results.

We've got a winner. The way I was first taught was the right way, and everyone around me steered me wrong. I guess the moral of the story is: I'm smarter than everyone.
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