From battlefield to basket of goods: our long love affair with leggings

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “From battlefield to basket of goods: our long love affair with leggings” was written by Steven Poole, for The Guardian on Friday 16th March 2018 12.00 Asia/Kolkata

The basket of goods used to calculate the rate of inflation was this week updated to include quiche (at the expense of pork pies) and also “leggings”. But why are leggings called that? Long gloves are not called “armings”, and a jumper is not a “torsoing”.

Surprisingly, the English already had “leggings” 300 years ago, to describe a short sock (along with “heelings”, the part of a shoe or sock that covered the heel). But leggings inexorably grew longer: the Indian stockings, “leggings” ordered by no less a fashion authority than George Washington for his soldiers in 1758 probably came up to the knee; and by the 19th century, outdoorsy Americans could sport full-length “leggings” made from deerskin or leather.

It was only in 1895 that the gender balance shifted, when a Nevada newspaper noted the peculiar appearance of a woman “wearing a pair of blue cotton leggings like tights from her waist to her ankles”. These days, of course, we have “jeggings” (jeans leggings) and even “treggings” (designed, cunningly, to look like trousers). But, happily for a certain class of post-gym male hipster, it turns out that “meggings” preceded them all.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

Published via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
From battlefield to basket of goods: our long love affair with leggings | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).