For those who either haven’t read The Black Madonna or missed the one-line explanation, the terms Soundheads and Shagamuffins – which fortunately never caught on – came about like this.
Queen Henrietta Maria coined the name Roundhead – thus suggesting, by no means accurately, that all Parliamentarians wore the same cropped hairstyle as London’s apprentice boys. Not to be outdone and presumably feeling pretty irritated, the Roundheads responded by calling the Royalists Cavaliers – which, being a derivative of the Spanish ‘caballero’ was the worst insult they could think of.
Unfortunately, this proved to be a mistake. In no time at all, the Cavaliers had become synonymous with dash, daring and glamour. And the Roundheads … hadn’t.