Language evolution is for real – the words and the phrases we normally use are the products of lifelong learning.
You’ve landed exactly where you’re supposed to if you’re oblivious to the fact why underwear is called drawers.
The point to ponder here is that the purpose of this guide is to break the bubble around the word and see what possibly could be a reason for this borrowed word.
To many, it sounds silly, insignificant, and doesn’t really matter.
But if you’ve clicked and have been reading it up to this point, I’m pretty sure that you’re into it and are highly interested in further unfolding the layers around the issue.
What do you generally visualize when you hear the term “Drawers”?
Most probably, it would be something to keep your personal items safe and secure.
That’s what they normally present and how we perceive this word.
Do you know there are multiple meanings associated with the same word often?
In literature, such words with the exact spelling of another word but with a different purpose are said to be homonym words.
Let’s take, for example, “Date”, what possible meanings pop up in your mind?
Just note them down in your notebook.
This exercise would definitely have made you sure about one thing, that there does exist a word encapsulating multiple contexts.
The same goes with Drawers because it isn’t only a thing to provide a space to place your commodities safely, but it sometimes is used in a different context.
This used to tease me back in school, and I could hardly grasp an idea or build a picture around one thing.
The other day, I found someone using the same word in a different scenario.
I used to mistake them for their stupidity but hardly did I know that it wasn’t them but me who was naive then.
Cutting it short, now I know why we call underwear the drawers.
It’s just an assumption, and I am unsure if it’s precisely what stemmed from this connotation.
It certainly made me curious about the word, but the references I found are not really legit as such.
The word “Drawers” dates back to the 1600s when this word was used for “Underwear” for the first time.
And since then, there have been instances where people kind of added this word into their culture.
Now, it’s more slang and used mainly in the western USA, Europe and Australia.
By its literal meaning, to draw is to pull. We sort of pull things up our body to fit in.
For example, we gotta pull pants to fit ourselves in; the same goes for any other wear under the belt.
In case it’s upper body, the term would differ because now, we no more are pulling something to get in. Instead, it’s the other way around.
I believe it’s said so for underwear because we pull them up to set them around our hip area.
Maybe that’s the reason to call underwear the drawers?
Otherwise, it could be a part of a language evolution where people might have said so for no definite reason.
It’s still possible to have no background, or the other way said – The etymological significance of a word.
The words don’t always stem from some event or a certain scenario. It can just sometimes be told so, for no reason.
And later on, people heavily relied on or used that particular word in the same context.
This is how I believe the etymologies or word relations are developed. There’s no other way – It’s a thousand centuries process, and it is quite a task to determine the exact reason for how the words are birthed.
If we were to summarize the discussion we’ve had, I would start with the word’s history, which dates approximately back to the 1600s. And underwear might have had that name for the pull it needed to wear or put on. Lastly, it could just be so for no possible reason.
What are Drawers Underwear?
As said earlier in the article, underwear is said so because they are pulled up to fit ourselves in.
Back in time, there was a split between the underwear. This basically means that there were two pieces of leg-shape clothing that people used to pull up.
We use “a pair” before underwear because there were initially two pieces of cloth, joining to form one.
People went for easier ways out as society progressed, and this shape became obsolete, paving the way for its substitute.
Of course, it was a hassle to keep both of the clothes around to put them on. This new style made things easier for the consumers and manufacturers.
The shape entirely changed, but “a pair” before underwear is still there and used in English.
That’s how the language progresses and continues to travel, even where there’re conceptual flaws.
What is Slang for Underwear?
Familiar with the slang players throw on a cricket ground? Yes! You must have heard of them if you religiously follow any sport.
Slang is one of the informal ways to call someone or something. For underwear, that could be anything that isn’t a part of formal literature, but a phrase developed from just one’s humor and wit.
Slang can literally be anything, as long as the meaning resonates with the vibe.
There are numerous slangs people use for underwear. Let me share the names of the ones I’ve heard and used repeatedly.
Boxers, shorts, panties, Underpants, knickers, butt-hugger, undies and the list literally goes a long way.
The gist: We’ve shed light on different dimensions that we could possibly see these underwears from. From their alternative term – Drawers, to why they are used for underwear and concluding on slang for it – This sums up this guide.
Hope you’ve had your questions answered. If not, please leave a comment.