Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 134

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….

Galligaskins

The dictionary defines this simply as “breeches” and although the term was meant more broadly to mean trousers, it was originally specifically the loose and wide trousers which were popular in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. It is suggested that the word derives from ‘grechesco’, meaning the way things are done in Greece, and apparently this style of trousers derives from the old Greek style. I’m not sure quite how this evolved into the current word, but most dictionaries seem to give the same derivation.

This is one of those words which has now fallen entirely out of usage, but it does have a rather beautiful nature to it.