Pair (of pants, etc.)

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

6 comments on this post.
  1. Ray Hathaway:

    To the Word Detective: Do you speak from “facts” or do you gather your information and entries much like Wikipedia? Specifically you write:

    “”But “pants” in the 16th century differed from today’s jeans in that each leg was a separate garment, donned in succession and then belted together at the waist. Thus it made sense to call these “two-piece britches” a “pair” of pants…”"

    In all the images that are on the web I can’t find one where the Pantalone character dons anything close to a two piece, chap-like, garment. As a matter of fact, any pantaloons image I find, antique, new; male, female, shows nothing other than a one piece garment. The only reference to a two piece, pant-like apparel item is, in fact, CHAPS.

    You seem to speak with authority on this subject so if you don’t mind would you please email me a link to something that backs up your assertion on this page? I mean, if I’m wrong in my thinking, I need to stop disseminating false info. Thanks. Ray H.

  2. beatrice:

    I would to know whether they re a pair of shorts. Is right in Grammar or diction.

  3. tambria moore:

    http://studyholiness.com/doc/THE_HISTORICAL_ORIGIN_OF_PANT1.pdf The HOSE worn by men were at first two separate pieces, but as time went by, the two hose were joined, first in the back then across the front. It became necessary (and required by the CHURCH) for men to have a ?codpiece.?

  4. Fleur:

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pantaloons

  5. JD:

    Ray – Get a life. Geez dude.

  6. Emma:

    As English is my second language, I have always been intrigued by the words ‘a pair of’… trousers, glasses, shorts etc. In my native tongue (Dutch) this is not used at all; a pair of pants would mean 2 pairs of pants, each with two legs ;-).
    Be that as it may, back to the English explanation of a pair of trousers being two separate entities tied at the waist. I vaguely remember, many years ago, reading a historical novel where reasons for the separated trousers for men, and similarly, bloomers for women, were explained thus: Due to the dearth of toileting facilities and the voluminous clothing worn in those days, it was easier to just stand at the gutter in the street with legs spread apart and let go. (always with one eye on the windows above for maids emptying the night chamber!
    I have not seen an explanation like this, anywhere, why?

Leave a comment