by Michael Franklin
published research by InCycleIPeedHereBritannica
has produced some interesting revelations on the
topic of word origins and meanings. It tells us
that the familiar word underwear originated in
the nineteenth century as a question under
where? It appears that the manufacture of
undergarments was becoming more refined. For men
the selection was limited. They had only one
concern and that was warmth and comfort. For
women, being more conscious of the need to move
with fashion, hoping for dignity as well as
comfort, choices and tastes were wider. The word
origins were simple and logical.
deep breaths of course. More energy was required
to raise the garments that took that name. That
resulted in a shortage of breath. It is, as we
all know, not an easy physical task to bend down
and pull something up from foot level. The word
was feminised in the twentieth century to become
panties, but energy was still required to raise
pretty floral displays then as they are now,
spreading widely and admired for their prettiness.
The undergarment that adopted that name was large
- stretching from below the knee to the waist. It
would be elasticated at the top and at the lower
ends. Colours would be gentle and delicate
embroidery gave them a feminine taste.
always been thieves. The application of the word
to an undergarments resulted from their cheeky
brevity. They attracted intrusive and invasive
men who would steal intimate privileges from
women in an arrogant way.
always been places to store valued possessions.
Women in the nineteenth century regarded those
parts of their anatomy covered by their
undergarments as valuable and private. When they
were uncovered their owners felt uncomfortable,
but when they had been put back into storage then
life was more placid and safe.
Smalls are words that describe and define
themselves. As fashion advanced into the
twentieth century, wearing less - and
therefore smaller - became an accepted change in
fashion for women.
Lingerie came from France. We understand the
meaning of the English version - linger. It means
hesitate. As part of their nature women have
always expected polite hesitation from men when a
mutual physical activity is imminent (sex - not
only worn by men. The word describes the lumpy
length of timber that occupies them.