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"Writers like Thomas Dekker, Fulke Greville, John Day and William Haughton all tried, each one producing ever more overblown plays set throughout Africa and Asia, all featuring violent, despotic characters, strutting, stamping, ranting and bellowing their way across the stage as they simultaneously conquered and murdered. They wore turbans or ‘Turkish caps’, flowing robes, ostentatious scimitars and ‘moustachios’." (Jerry Brotton, This Orient Isle- Elizabethan England and the Islamic World)

Why might the word "moustachios" be placed in inverted commas here? The word was used firstly here.

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alibey1917Why might the word "moustachios" be placed in inverted commas here?

Probably to highlight that "moustachios" was the actual word used by those writers, and not a word chosen by the author. The plain modern word is "moustache" (AmE "mustache"); "moustachio" has a more exotic feel, possibly a foreign feel.

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alibey1917Why might the word "moustachios" be placed in inverted commas here?

For the same reason "Tukish caps" was, I guess, because that's what they were called in the "overblown" plays, or at least in their day.