The following is from 'The Blackhouse' by Peter May

The real bastard was a short, stocky man with thick, sandy hair Brylcreemed back from a low brow.

I know what a 'brow' is. I also looked up a 'low brow' in the dictionary but it doesn't have a physical definition here Where about is a 'low' brow located on person's brow in a physical sense? Is it somewhere right above one's eyebrow?

  • 3
    Did you look up brow in a dictionary? It's between your eyebrows and your hairline like any other shape of brow.
    – The Photon
    Nov 9, 2017 at 6:32
  • 1
    @The Photon Then where about is the 'low' brow? Can you Brylcreem your hair back from a low brow?
    – whitecap
    Nov 9, 2017 at 6:43
  • 3
    Yes, you can grease your hair back, and you can do so "from" a low brow (forehead).
    – TimR
    Nov 9, 2017 at 11:40

2 Answers 2


A "low" brow refers to a forehead which is relatively short in height as measured from the eyebrows (from the top of the orbits of the skull) to the hair-line (e.g. Neanderthal). A high brow is just the opposite. Traditionally (pseudo-science) these cranial features have been associated with lower and higher intelligence, respectively.

rendering of a Neanderthal man

  • 1
    I didn't know it refers to the length not upper or lower location. Thank you.
    – whitecap
    Nov 9, 2017 at 19:20

Brow is not eyebrows but just about the level of them. You can have a prominent brow which implies the brow bone protrudes. Those are physical characteristics.

Low-brow could describe nonphysical characteristics. adjective -not highly intellectual or cultured.

High-brow - cultured, intelligent, high society

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