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Lingerie

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Lingerie

Postby Slava » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:23 pm

I should imagine we all know what this word means, but do we know its provenance?

Maureen Dowd of the NYT claims thusly, "The word lingerie, after all, derives from the French word linge, meaning “washables.”"

I looked it up and did not find this etymology. While the sources I looked at agree that lingerie comes from "linge", that word comes about from words that mean "made of linen."

Any French speakers out there who care to chime in?
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Re: Lingerie

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:40 pm

I seldom linger at the lingerie counter.
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Re: Lingerie

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:47 pm

I wrote an essay on linen and flax and my personal involvement it its production. I delayed posting it. My wife saw it and remarked how lucky you are that I didn't. So I won’t.
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Re: Lingerie

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:27 am

Wikipedia, for what it is worth says

The word derives from the French word linge, "washables"—as in faire le linge, "do the laundry"—and ultimately from lin for washable linen, the fabric from which European undergarments were made before the general introduction of cotton from Egypt and then from India.
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Re: Lingerie

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:09 pm

I submit that the general introduction of cotton was from The United States, not Egypt or India. Surely it was known and used much earlier in those places. But until the cotton gin was invented, production was not very successful. It required expensive and exacting labor for its manufacture into cloth.
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