Word for Wednesday: Trousers

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Our March Word for Wednesday theme is clothes

The word clothes comes from the Old English ‘claðas’ meaning ‘garments’. ‘Claðas’ is also the plural of ‘clað’ meaning ‘cloth’.

Last week, we looked at the word shirt. Today’s word is trousers

Trousers are a garment which extend from the waist to the knees or ankles, and which cover each leg separately. The word is usually used a plural due to the separate leg parts, though one might refer to a ‘trouser leg’ in the singular form. 

The word trousers dates to the 1610s, and before that this item of clothing was known as 'trouzes' (1580s), from 'trouse' (1570s). The word comes from the Gaelic or Middle Irish word ‘tribuhas’ meaning ‘close-fitting shorts’. 

The American English word for this garment is pants. The word pants dates to 1840 and comes from ‘pantaloons’—a garment worn by men that was similar to tights. By 1798, the word was used in reference to trousers that were tied below the knee.

10 Mar 2021
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