pair of pants

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    1,709
    Pants and slacks are often described with the words "pair of" even though a single garment. Why pair ?
     
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Good question. In doing a quick search out of curiosity, it seems that “pantaloons” as they were once referred as, were actually two separate garments, thus they came in pairs.

    Hmm, interesting!
     
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Before pants were invented* men wore hose - one long stocking on each leg, that came up to their crotch in the center, were tied to the belt on the outsides and attached together by a separate codpiece in front. They were covered by a tunic that came down to the knees. Poor men, who didn't have hose wore leggings, which might be a single strip of cloth wrapped around the leg from the ankle upward and secured with a leather thong. They would wear a jerkin on the torso.

    * which is to say, some tailor or seamstress put all the bits together, having figured out how to make room for the bum while pulling them up and yet not make them baggy, like bloomers and breeches, which were one-piece and closed by a drawstring. Pantaloons are also baggy. Hose were tight to show off a gentleman's fine leg.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    So... if you lose one pantaloon in the dryer, can you wear the surviving one on either leg?
     
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    You'd have to turn it inside-out, and get much longer thongs for your cod-piece.
    But this didn't happen to people in the early middle ages.
     

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