Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Elf-locks.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Tangled hair. It is said that one of the favourite amusements of Queen Mab is to tie people’s hair in knots. When Edgar impersonates a madman, “he elfs all his hair in knots.” (Lear, ii. 3.)
“This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes [? cakes] the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs.”
Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, i. 4.


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