A widow’s peak is the distinct, V-shaped hairline at the top centre of the forehead. These days it is a unisex term but this was not always the case. The expression widow’s peak derives from the very old superstition that women with these distinctive hairlines always outlive their husbands. Whenever a superstition like this is encountered, one looks for an origin that is centuries old but the surprise in this instance is that widow’s peak is first attested from only the mid-19th century. On digging a little deeper, the OED cites ‘widow’s lock’ which it defines as ‘a lock or tuft of hair growing apart from the rest, supposed to presage early widowhood’ and dates this from the late 1500s. Thus, it all starts to make sense. The expression does indeed go back a long way, as does the superstition. It was simply expressed in a slightly different way. Widow’s peak is a modern variant of the very much older and superstition-riddled ‘widow’s lock’.