Breeches
Overview
Breeches are an item of clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 covering the body from the waist
Waist
The waist is the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips. On proportionate people, the waist is the narrowest part of the torso....

 down, with separate coverings for each leg
Human leg
The human leg is the entire lower extremity or limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh and even the hip or gluteal region; however, the precise definition in human anatomy refers only to the section of the lower limb extending from the knee to the ankle.Legs are used for standing,...

, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles. The breeches were normally closed and fastened about the leg, along its open seams at varied lengths, and to the knee, by either buttons or by a draw-string, or by one or more straps and buckle
Buckle
The buckle or clasp is a device used for fastening two loose ends, with one end attached to it and the other held by a catch in a secure but adjustable manner. Usually overlooked and taken for granted, the invention of the buckle has been indispensable in securing two ends before the invention of...

 or brooch
Brooch
A brooch ; also known in ancient times as a fibula; is a decorative jewelry item designed to be attached to garments. It is usually made of metal, often silver or gold but sometimes bronze or some other material...

es. Formerly the breeching of a young boy, at an age somewhere between six and eight, was a landmark in his childhood.
Breeches is a double plural
Double plural
A double plural is a plural form to which an extra suffix has been added, mainly because the original plural suffix had become improductive and therefore irregular. So the form as a whole was no longer seen as a plural .Examples of this can be seen in the history of English and Dutch...

 known since c.
Encyclopedia
Breeches are an item of clothing
Clothing
Clothing refers to any covering for the human body that is worn. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic and is a feature of nearly all human societies...

 covering the body from the waist
Waist
The waist is the part of the abdomen between the rib cage and hips. On proportionate people, the waist is the narrowest part of the torso....

 down, with separate coverings for each leg
Human leg
The human leg is the entire lower extremity or limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh and even the hip or gluteal region; however, the precise definition in human anatomy refers only to the section of the lower limb extending from the knee to the ankle.Legs are used for standing,...

, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles. The breeches were normally closed and fastened about the leg, along its open seams at varied lengths, and to the knee, by either buttons or by a draw-string, or by one or more straps and buckle
Buckle
The buckle or clasp is a device used for fastening two loose ends, with one end attached to it and the other held by a catch in a secure but adjustable manner. Usually overlooked and taken for granted, the invention of the buckle has been indispensable in securing two ends before the invention of...

 or brooch
Brooch
A brooch ; also known in ancient times as a fibula; is a decorative jewelry item designed to be attached to garments. It is usually made of metal, often silver or gold but sometimes bronze or some other material...

es. Formerly the breeching of a young boy, at an age somewhere between six and eight, was a landmark in his childhood.

Etymology

Breeches is a double plural
Double plural
A double plural is a plural form to which an extra suffix has been added, mainly because the original plural suffix had become improductive and therefore irregular. So the form as a whole was no longer seen as a plural .Examples of this can be seen in the history of English and Dutch...

 known since c. 1205, from Old English (and before Old French) brēc, the plural of brōc "garment for the legs and trunk", from the Proto-Germanic word *brōkiz, whence also the Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 word brók, which shows up in the epithet of the Viking king Ragnar Loðbrók
Ragnar Lodbrok
Ragnar Lodbrok was a Norse legendary hero from the Viking Age who was thoroughly reshaped in Old Norse poetry and legendary sagas.-Life as recorded in the sagas:...

, Ragnar "Hairy-breeches". The Proto-Germanic word also gave rise, via a Celtic language, to the Latin word bracca; the Romans, who did not generally wear pants, referred to Germanic tribes as braccati, "wearers of breeches" (or rather, of fabric wrapped around the legs.)

Like other words for similar garments (e.g., pants, knickers, short pants) the word breeches has been applied to both outer garments and underwear. Breeches is a singular word which uses a plural form to reflect it has two legs. This construction is common in English and Italian, but is no longer common in some other languages in which it was once common; e.g., the parallel modern Dutch broek.

At first breeches indicated a cloth worn as underwear by both men and women.

In the latter sixteenth century, breeches began to replace hose
Hose (clothing)
Hose are any of various styles of men's clothing for the legs and lower body, worn from the Middle Ages through the 17th century, when the term fell out of use in favor of breeches and stockings. The old plural form of "hose" was hosen...

(while the German Hosen, also a plural, ousted Bruch) as the general English term for men's lower outer garments, a usage that remained standard until knee-length breeches were replaced for everyday wear by long pantaloons or trousers.

Until around the end of the nineteenth century (but later in some places), small boys wore special forms of dress
Dress
A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.Dress may also refer to:*Clothing in general*Costume, fancy dress...

es until they were "breeched", or given adult male styles of clothes, at about the age of six to eight (the age fell slowly to perhaps three). Their clothes were not usually confusable with those of little girls, as the head-covering and hair, chest and collar, and other features were differentiated from female styles.

During the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 breeches (culottes in French) were seen as a symbol of the nobility. Lower class revolutionaries became known as sansculottes ("without breeches").

Britches

The spelling britches is a spelling variant, not a corruption, dating from the 17th century. Presently, "britches" reflects a common pronunciation often used in casual speech to mean trousers
Trousers
Trousers are an item of clothing worn on the lower part of the body from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately...

 or pants in many English speaking parts of the world. Breeks is a Scots
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

 or northern English spelling and pronunciation.

Types of breeches

The terms breeches or knee-breeches specifically designate the knee-length garments worn by men from the later sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century. After that, they survived in England only in very formal wear, such as the livery
Livery
A livery is a uniform, insignia or symbol adorning, in a non-military context, a person, an object or a vehicle that denotes a relationship between the wearer of the livery and an individual or corporate body. Often, elements of the heraldry relating to the individual or corporate body feature in...

 worn by some servants into the early twentieth century, and the court dress worn by others, such as Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

, down to the present day on formal occasions.
  • Spanish breeches
    Spanish breeches
    Spanish breeches are stiff and close-fitting ungathered breeches. They were popular from 1600–1650. In the 1660s petticoat breeches surpassed them in popularity throughout most of Western Europe,...

    , stiff, ungathered breeches popular from the 1630s until the 1650s.

  • Petticoat breeches
    Petticoat breeches
    Petticoat breeches were voluminously wide, pleated pants, reminiscent of a skirt, worn by men in Western Europe during the 1650s and early 1660s. The very full loose breeches were usually decorated with loops of ribbons on the waist and around the knee. They were so loose and wide that they...

    , very full, ungathered breeches popular from the 1650s until the early 1660s, giving the impression of a woman's petticoat
    Petticoat
    A petticoat or underskirt is an article of clothing for women; specifically an undergarment to be worn under a skirt or a dress. The petticoat is a separate garment hanging from the waist ....

    .

  • Rhinegraves
    Rhinegraves
    Rhinegraves are a form of breeches which were popular from the early 1660s until the mid 1670s in Western Europe. They are very full breeches gathered below the knee. Usually an overskirt was worn over them which was decorated with ribbon loops around the waist and around the knee...

    , full, gathered breeches popular from the early 1660s until the mid 1670s, often worn with an overskirt over them.

  • Fall front breeches, breeches with a panel or flap covering the front opening and fastened up with buttons at either corner.

  • From the 1890s to the 1930s a form of breeches called knickerbockers
    Knickerbockers (clothing)
    Knickerbockers are men's or boys' breeches or baggy-kneed trousers particularly popular in the early twentieth century USA. Golfers' plus twos and plus fours were breeches of this type...

     or knickers (US) were in fashion with both men and boys. Like their 18th century predecessor, they reached and were fastened just below the knees, but the thighs were more loosely worn. There were various versions including plus-fours for golf wear which reached down a further four inches below the knees, or plus-twos which reached down only two inches, often used as apparel for the sport of bird-shooting, especially in Britain.

  • Vráka (Greek
    Greek language
    Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

    : βράκα) are the traditional breeches of all Greek islands, from the westernmost Ionian islands
    Ionian Islands
    The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e...

     to the easternmost, Cyprus
    Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

    . Greek breeches are extremely roomy, and are meant to be tucked inside long boots just below the knee. They were originally meant to facilitate movement on fishing boats and sailing ships. They are usually accompanied by a long, wide piece of cloth turned many times around the natural waist as a belt. As the vráka lacks pockets, items (such as money) were stored inside the folds of this belt. Vrákas are usually made of sturdy double-woven cotton cloth, usually dark blue or black, with brighter color cloth used as the belt. They were usually worn with white, long-sleeved shirts and a roomy waistcoat.

  • Breeches are still worn by many chasidic men, particularly those of Galician or Hungarian
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

     origin, such as Satmar
    Satmar (Hasidic dynasty)
    Satmar is a Hasidic movement comprising mostly Hungarian and Romanian Hasidic Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants. It was founded and led by the late Hungarian-born Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum , who was the rabbi of Szatmárnémeti, Hungary...

     and Sanz

  • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the term breech-cloth or breech-clout was also used to describe the apron-like loincloth
    Loincloth
    A loincloth is a one-piece male garment, sometimes kept in place by a belt, which covers the genitals and, at least partially, the buttocks.-History and types:Loincloths are being and have been worn:*in societies where no other clothing is needed or wanted...

    s worn by some Native American peoples.

  • In contemporary contexts, breeches are distinguished from other forms of pants or trousers
    Trousers
    Trousers are an item of clothing worn on the lower part of the body from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately...

     as being shorter than ankle-length and form-fitting, as riding breeches. These used to be made of thick cavalty-twill and had the distinguishing "balloon legs" or flared thighs, until the invention and of multi-stretch fabrics like Nylon
    Nylon
    Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

     and Spandex
    Spandex
    Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. It is strong, but less durable than natural Latex, its major non-synthetic competitor. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was co-invented in 1959 by chemists C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shivers at DuPont's...

     became widespread for riding in the 1960s. The balloon legs were there to accommodate the riders knees as they sat in the saddle, but fabrics that stretched in all four directions made such excess material unnecessary and the form-fitting and much thinner modern breeches and jodhpurs became normal.

  • Breeches are also an item of protective clothing used in the martial art of Fencing
    Fencing
    Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

    .

  • In the Book of Exodus the kohenim (priests) were commanded to wear white linen breeches known as michnasayim
    Michnasayim
    The priestly undergarments were "linen breeches" worn by the priests and the High Priest in ancient Israel. They reached from the waist to the knees and so were not visible, being entirely hidden by the priestly tunic.-Hebrew Bible:...

    .

Riding breeches

Riding breeches are specifically designed for equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 activities. Traditionally, they were tight in the legs, stopping about halfway down the calf, with buckles or laces in the calf section, and had a pronounced flare through the thighs that allowed freedom of movement for the rider. However, with the advent of modern stretch materials such as spandex
Spandex
Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. It is strong, but less durable than natural Latex, its major non-synthetic competitor. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was co-invented in 1959 by chemists C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shivers at DuPont's...

, modern breeches have no flare and fit skin-tight. Zippers and velcro fastenings have replaced laces and buckles at the calves as well. The flared style is seen at times, and is available to cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 and other historic reenactors.
There are four main types of riding breeches:
  • Knee patch breeches: Breeches that stop mid-calf, designed to be worn with tall boots
    Riding boot
    A riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground, and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding...

    , which come up to the knee, or with half chaps
    Chaps
    Chaps are sturdy coverings for the legs consisting of leggings and a belt. They are buckled on over trousers with the chaps' integrated belt, but unlike trousers they have no seat and are not joined at the crotch. They are designed to provide protection for the legs and are usually made of leather...

     and short paddock boots
    Riding boot
    A riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground, and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding...

    . They have grippy material, usually leather or a "grippy" synthetic, only on the inside of the knee area. These are the only type of breeches worn by hunt seat
    Hunt seat
    Hunt seat is terminology used in the United States and Canada to refer to a style of forward seat riding commonly found at American horse shows. Along with Dressage, it is one of the two classic forms of English riding. The Hunt seat is based on the tradition of fox hunting...

     riders. Show jumpers
    Show jumping
    Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping," "open jumping," or "jumpers," is a member of a family of English riding equestrian events that also includes dressage, eventing, hunters, and equitation. Jumping classes commonly are seen at horse shows throughout the world, including the Olympics...

    , eventers, show hunter
    Show hunter
    The show hunter is a type of show horse that is judged on its movement, manners, and way of going, particularly while jumping fences. The horses are shown in hunt seat style tack, and are often of Warmblood or Thoroughbred type, though a hunter-style pony is also seen in youth classes...

    s, as well as some endurance riders
    Endurance riding
    Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the FEI. There are endurance rides worldwide....

    , and pleasure riders also often use the breeches.
  • Full seat breeches: Breeches with grippy material from the knee, up the inner thigh, and across the buttocks. These breeches are primarily seen in dressage
    Dressage
    Dressage is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training." Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games...

     competition, where the "sticky" seat helps riders stay quiet and deep in the saddle as they sit the gaits
    Horse gait
    Horse gaits are the various ways in which a horse can move, either naturally or as a result of specialized training by humans.-Classification:...

     of their horse
    Horse
    The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

    s. However, they are also worn by eventers and other riders. They are designed to be worn with tall boots
    Riding boot
    A riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground, and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding...

     or half chaps
    Chaps
    Chaps are sturdy coverings for the legs consisting of leggings and a belt. They are buckled on over trousers with the chaps' integrated belt, but unlike trousers they have no seat and are not joined at the crotch. They are designed to provide protection for the legs and are usually made of leather...

    .
  • Jockeys' breeches also known as silks are made from a white lightweight fabric, usually nylon
    Nylon
    Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers known generically as polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station...

     and typically have elasticised lower legs. Some racing authorities have regulations that require a jockey's name to be inscribed along the thigh of the breeches.
  • Jodhpur breeches or jodhpurs
    Jodhpurs
    Jodhpurs in their modern form are tight-fitting trousers that reach to the ankle, where they end in a snug cuff, and are worn primarily for horse riding. The term is also used incorrectly as slang for a type of short riding boot, also called a paddock boot or a jodhpur boot, because they are worn...

    are a type of riding pants with legs extending to the ankles, where they end in a small cuff that fits over the top of a low riding boot. They are commonly placed in a separate category from other types of breeches due to their additional length. They are most often worn by children. However, they are worn by adults in the show ring in the United Kingdom and Australia, and in the United States are seen on adults during riding lessons and for casual riding. These riding pants have elastic straps or "stirrups" that run under the rider's boots, and are usually worn with garters, to prevent them from riding up. They are meant to be worn with jodhpur boot
    Jodhpur boot
    The jodhpur boot is an ankle boot designed as a riding boot with a rounded toe and a low heel. They originally fastened with a strap and buckle, but today the term also includes designs with straps that do not wrap entirely around the ankle and the elastic-sided design without a strap also known as...

    s, also known as "paddock boots", which come up just above the ankles. The advantage of jodhpurs is that expensive high riding boot
    Riding boot
    A riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground, and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding...

    s are not required to protect the calf of the leg from rubbing against the horse's flank or the stirrup leathers.
  • Kentucky jodhpurs are full-length riding pants used exclusively in saddle seat
    Saddle seat
    Saddle Seat is a style of horseback riding within the category of English riding that is designed to show off the high trotting action of certain horse breeds. The style developed into its modern form in the United States, and is also seen in Canada and South Africa...

     style riding. Like hunt seat jodhpurs, they are close-fitting from waist to ankle, but differ in that they are much longer, ending with a flared bell bottom that fits over the jodhpur boot, usually extending longer than the heel of the boot in back, and covering the arch of the foot (but not the toe) in front. The overall look gives the impression of a rider with a long leg, a desired equitation
    Equitation
    Equitation is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship.More specifically, equitation may refer to a rider's position while mounted, and encompass a rider's ability to ride correctly and with effective aids. In horse show competition, the rider, rather than the horse is evaluated...

     standard. Like the hunt seat jodhpur, they have elastic straps that run under the boot to help hold the pant leg in place.


Color is important in selecting breeches for competition. Sanctioning organizations and tradition both dictate that show clothing is to be quiet, classic and conservative in design. White is common in dressage
Dressage
Dressage is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training." Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games...

, and is also seen in show jumping
Show jumping
Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping," "open jumping," or "jumpers," is a member of a family of English riding equestrian events that also includes dressage, eventing, hunters, and equitation. Jumping classes commonly are seen at horse shows throughout the world, including the Olympics...

. Beige is seen in most hunt seat
Hunt seat
Hunt seat is terminology used in the United States and Canada to refer to a style of forward seat riding commonly found at American horse shows. Along with Dressage, it is one of the two classic forms of English riding. The Hunt seat is based on the tradition of fox hunting...

-style equestrian disciplines, though light grays, "canary" (a dull yellow), rust, tan, and an olive-greenish colour are periodically popular with hunt seat competitors. Eventers
Eventing
Eventing is an equestrian event comprising dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. This event has its roots in a comprehensive cavalry test requiring mastery of several types of riding...

 wear classic colours for the dressage and stadium phase, but less classic colours may be seen on the cross-country course (especially at the lower levels) to match the "stable colours" of the rider. Saddle seat
Saddle seat
Saddle Seat is a style of horseback riding within the category of English riding that is designed to show off the high trotting action of certain horse breeds. The style developed into its modern form in the United States, and is also seen in Canada and South Africa...

 riders, whose riding clothing styles derived from men's business suits, wear Kentucky jodhpurs in dark colors, usually black, navy blue, or a shade that matches the riding coat.

Breeches may be front or side zip. Some competitors believe the side-zip to give a cleaner appearance and to be more flattering. Styles are also developing to parallel trends in street clothing, including low-rise breeches.

Breech

The singular meanwhile survived in the metaphorical sense of the part of the body covered by breeches, (i.e., posterior, buttocks); paradoxically, the alliterating expression "bare breech" thus means without any inner or outer breeches.

This also led to the following:
  • a (gun) breech is the part of a firearm behind the bore (known since 1575 in gunnery).
  • breech birth
    Breech birth
    A breech birth is the birth of a baby from a breech presentation. In the breech presentation the baby enters the birth canal with the buttocks or feet first as opposed to the normal head first presentation....

     in childbirthing (since 1673).

See also

  • Knickerbockers
    Knickerbockers (clothing)
    Knickerbockers are men's or boys' breeches or baggy-kneed trousers particularly popular in the early twentieth century USA. Golfers' plus twos and plus fours were breeches of this type...

  • Plus-fours
  • Braccae
    Braccae
    Braccae is the Latin term for trousers, and in this context is today used to refer to a style of pants, made from wool. The Romans encountered this style of clothing among peoples whom they called Galli...

  • Clothing terminology
    Clothing terminology
    Clothing terminology comprises the names of individual garments and classes of garments, as well as the specialized vocabularies ofthe trades that have designed, manufactured, marketed and sold clothing over hundreds of years....

  • Hebrew Priests were commanded in the Law of Moses
    613 mitzvot
    The 613 commandments is a numbering of the statements and principles of law, ethics, and spiritual practice contained in the Torah or Five Books of Moses...

     (Exodus 28:42) to wear breeches (basically underwear) when they ministered in the Tabernacle
    Tabernacle
    The Tabernacle , according to the Hebrew Torah/Old Testament, was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites...

    : "And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach".
  • The Breeches Bible, a Geneva-edited Bible of 1560, was so called on account of rendition of Genesis iii.7 (already in Wyclif): "They sewed figge leaves together, and made themselves breeches."
  • Daniele da Volterra
    Daniele da Volterra
    Daniele Ricciarelli , better known as Daniele da Volterra, was an Italian mannerist painter and sculptor.He is best remembered for his association, for better or worse, with the late Michelangelo. Several of Daniele's most important works were based on designs made for that purpose by Michelangelo...

    , nicknamed "the breeches maker" (il braghettone)

Sources and references

  • Oxford English Dictionary
    Oxford English Dictionary
    The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

  • Etymology
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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