Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Puzzler #4

Why is it that we wear a "pair" of panties,

but just a "single" bra?

That was supposed to be the end of my question but as an afterthought, and because girdle is my very favorite word to say - girdle, girdle, girdIe :) I now wonder why a girdle is singular when panties are plural . . . .
Man, I hope I can sleep tonight . . . . .

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
Hugs to each of you,


much2ponder said...
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much2ponder said...

First of all I must ask, Are you trying to get me in trouble? I am at work and taking a few seconds to read your post and it made me laugh outloud. It's a wonder everyone didn't come over to see what was so funny! Girdle, girdle, girdle. Too funny:0

To answer your question I would have to say maybe it is because we buy our panties in a package that has more then one a. Although it is true I have never called them a panti, but seriously I am not sure and I am now wondering if I will be able to sleep tonight as well. Have a wonderful weekend.

Mia said...

I just love your Friday puzzlers! You are a deep thinker Denise! HA!

Smiling Shelly said...
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Smiling Shelly said...

Hi Denise!

I'm just now getting around to catching up on your blog. In case I haven't mentioned it before (and I'm almost positive that I have) I really enjoy your Friday Puzzlers! Very Fun!

However, me being me... I can't always let things go (I've been told that's what makes me so good at my job). I tell you all this to explain to you why I have written a book in response to your question.

I understand that your intention in posing this query was probably just for fun and that you certainly did not for mean for me to get carried away, do research and report back to you with my findings.

Nevertheless, I am who I am....and this was one of those times when I couldn't just let it go - BTW that means that this was a very good question :) So...Here is what I found:

To find the reasoning why we call our undergarment a "Pair of Panties", I had to go back to where the word originated. The word panties comes from pants, which is short for the French word pantaloons. That is why it is plural.

Taking from that the most commonly used word today "Pants" - which we also refer to as a "Pair of" - and going a step further, I learned that 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, and the usage stuck long after pants were unified. We speak of “a pair” of shorts or swimming trunks or panties because of the precedent set by “pants.”

Now, as for the Bra...

Bra is short for the French word brassiere, or baby's vest. That is why it is singular.

The origin of the bra is as follows:

Bra has basically developed from the corset, in an attempt to manufacture a more comfortable underwear piece. The purpose of corset was to shape a woman's body the way the fashion dictated, and the small waist was a fetish for men at those times. Before the time of corset there is only a very little evidence of any garments that could be considered bras. So history of the bra is strictly linked to fashions and to the idea that women have to dress in a certain way in order to please men's eyes.

1910–15 French word "brassière" bodice worn as an undergarment to support the breasts.
bracieres camisole, armor for the arms, equiv. to bras arm (or brace ) + -ière, suffix added to body part nouns, the resultant derivative denoting an article for that part.

Now that this has been resolved - and if you haven't fallen asleep yet - I also came across this answer in my quest to find the truth and thought it might be something you would enjoy reading as well (I thought it was a very original answer and pretty funny too.)