The part of the beard that grows in front of the ears.
Nothing says 'I'm here to kick some ass' like a nice set of sideburns. I would know, I own a fine pair myself. With hundreds of different styles and variations your sideburns can say as much about you as a mustache or beard. But where did this divine word come from? And what does growing hair down the side of your face have to do with burning? Nothing, actually; sideburns are named after a man.
The Civil War was a great time if you liked destruction, death or freeing slaves. It was a bad time if you wanted to live, were from the south or were General Ambrose Burnside. Burnside had risen to fame by inventing a new kind of rifle that was effective and popular but failed to turn a profit. NDB, he said, and joined the army, eventually rising to the rank of General. That, however, is where his luck ran out. Burnside presided over two of the largest Union Army defeats - Fredericksburg and Petersburg - before being stripped of his command. Bummer.
Next Burnside tried his hand at politics where he had considerable better luck, becoming governor of Rhode Island and, later, a senator. Throughout it all Burnside sported huge muttonchops on his face and, when the style became popular, they were re-christened burnsides.
Nobody knows why but at some point in time the word was switched around to sideburns
and it has remained the same ever since. So when you see me strolling down the street with my sick chops out for all to see, just remember the failed Civil War general to whom I am paying homage.
The great man himself, accompianed by some sick chops.