E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The powder-room in a French ship; so called from St. Barbara, the patron saint of artillery. (See BARBARY.)
A barbe de fou apprend-on à raire (French). An apprentice is taught to shave on the chin of a fool.
Tel a fait sa barbe, qui nest pas beau fils (French). You may waste half the day on making your toilet, and yet not come forth an Adonis. You cannot make a silk purse of a sows ear. Not every block will make a Mercury.