I had long ago heard that the ropy, Rastafarian hairdo was spelled "dredlocks", supposedly from Dred Scott.
This was brought to mind when, during a dance lesson, Tom mentioned that in high school, he had sported that hairdo. Had I been drinking Coke, it would have come spewing out of my nose, considering that he would have been a tall, lanky pale-skinned white boy.
I asked him to dig up a picture. So far, no luck.
Anyway, when I decided to follow up on the origin of the name, a google search turned up a lot of hits for "dredlocks", mostly from individual blogs or MySpace pages, one under construction from Urban Dictionary.
There were a lot more for "dreadlocks," however, including one at Urban Dictionary, so I guess that is the preferred spelling. And there are a lot of photos of skinny white boys and girls sporting dreads, so I guess it's not as odd as it seemed. The do itself is made up of ropy coils, anywhere from yards long to inches short, anywhere from loose fuzz to tight braids.
The style itself dates back to ancient Egypt, may years BCE. Young Jamaican's began wearing them in the 1950's, and the hairstyle made them look "dreadful", hence the name. At least, that is Wikipedia's version. The look was popularized in the 1970's when Bob Marley and reggae music took the country by storm. It continues to be popular today, though the hair style means many things to many people, anywhere from "environmental activist" to "reggae enthusiast" to "pot smoker" etc.
Not a whisper about Dred Scott.
[Image from Wikimedia]