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Etymological Question


Guest ncm2169
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Not just underwear, but pants and glasses too.

 

From a quick google search:

 

Before the days of modern tailoring, such garments, whether underwear or outerwear, were indeed made in two parts, one for each leg. The pieces were put on each leg separately and then wrapped and tied or belted at the waist (just like cowboys’ chaps). The plural usage persisted out of habit even after the garments had become physically one piece.

 

Here's the link. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-pai1.htm

 

Kevin Slater

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Oh, how dreary. I thought this was going to be thread about bugs, gorgeous, creepy-crawly things. But that's ENTOMOLOGY.

 

Thus I face another night of disappointment, betrayed by the english language once again.

 

 

Sighingly,

La Trix

 

But if anyone wants to talk about bugs, I'm totally down with it!!!

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Guest backbaygayguy

Hmm, interesting question. Here's another guess -- any body part that we have two of seems to have a pair of something covering them -- gloves, shoes, socks, glasses, earmuffs, pants. Pants have a pair of pant legs.

 

Even tho' the object is one piece (glasses, earmuffs, pants), we still seem to use "pair of" because the items being covered (eyes, ears, legs) are paired.

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Guest ncm2169

< Oh, how dreary. I thought this was going to be thread about bugs, gorgeous, creepy-crawly things. But that's ENTOMOLOGY.

 

Well if you like to mix bugs with politics, Trix, there's always arachnophobia. Spiders be damned, there's a certifiable lunatic here in MSP who's been showing off her assets for over 40 years in dozens of political campaigns. She started being Mary Jane Rachner, then Mary Jane Arachner, and now she's become Mary Jane Reagan.

 

Probably not your cup of "tea," but still interesting. }(

 

http://www.fraterslibertas.com/2004/11/dont-drink-water-perhaps-man-most.html

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>Hmm, interesting question. Here's another guess -- any body

>part that we have two of seems to have a pair of something

>covering them -- gloves, shoes, socks, glasses, earmuffs,

>pants. Pants have a pair of pant legs.

>

>Even tho' the object is one piece (glasses, earmuffs, pants),

>we still seem to use "pair of" because the items

>being covered (eyes, ears, legs) are paired.

 

I just put on my pair of shirts

 

 

I have never seen a purplekow;

I never hope to see one;

I can tell you anyhow;

I'd rather see than be one

 

Help there is a purplekow in my mirror

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Guest backbaygayguy

>>Hmm, interesting question. Here's another guess -- any

>body

>>part that we have two of seems to have a pair of

>something

>>covering them -- gloves, shoes, socks, glasses, earmuffs,

>>pants. Pants have a pair of pant legs.

>>

>>Even tho' the object is one piece (glasses, earmuffs,

>pants),

>>we still seem to use "pair of" because the

>items

>>being covered (eyes, ears, legs) are paired.

>

>I just put on my pair of shirts

>

Oh, do you have a pair of chests to cover with a pair of shirts? Your shirt has a pair of sleeves for the two arms, but it's called a shirt (singular) because it covers one chest.

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