Category Archives: Glossary

Glossary – Welsh Comb

According to Online Etymology Dictionary, a Welsh comb dates from 1796 and means using your thumb and four fingers to comb your hair. Considering most men had doffed their wigs by the mid 1790s and were sporting their own hair, which … Continue reading

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Glossary – Budgie Smuggler

Originally an Australian slang term for a pair of tightly-fitted briefly-cut Speedo-style men’s swimwear that highlight the male bulge – likening it to what a smuggled budgie might look like. The term appeared shortly after the turn of the millennium – the … Continue reading

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Glossary – Holoku, Muumu, Wrapper, Mother Hubbard

The holoku, as it is known in Hawaii (and its shorter version, the muumuu – which means ‘cut off’), is also known as an ahu tua (empire dress) or ahu mama (granny dress) in Tahiti. Other variations in name exist … Continue reading

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Glossary – Blue Monday

Bluing is a laundry additive that makes whites appear whiter – an optical illusion that has been employed since at least the 17th century and can still be found as little blue specs in many modern laundry detergent powders. The … Continue reading

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Glossary – Pussycat bow

It took me a while to figure out what all the recent hubbub was regarding pussycat bows. Suffice it to say that Donald Trump was caught on film years ago referring to grabbing a woman by an anatomical synonym that also … Continue reading

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Glossary – Parfilage (drizzling)

As Rococo taste became ever more fantastic in the late 18th century, the cost of brocaded silks and metallic embellishments became prohibitive. And so it became the fashion in France for wealthy women, equipped with tools including a stiletto, knife, … Continue reading

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Glossary – Koumpounophobia

Koumpounophobia is the fear of buttons. From the modern Greek koumpi ‘to button up’. About 1 in every 75,000 people have it. It’s not a dreaded fear that leaves people incapacitated in their presence but it does cause those inflicted with … Continue reading

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Glossary – Jigger button

Double-breasted jackets and coats have an overlapping front that close with an arrangement of two or more buttons sewn in parallel. To strengthen the fastening, an inner-button, called a jigger (or anchor), is usually added to fasten the under-lapped side of … Continue reading

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Glossary – Size Zero

For such a recent term, there are already apocryphal stories about its origin including that it was invented for Twiggy. The truth is that it first appeared in about 2000. American designer Nicole Miller is credited with its first use by … Continue reading

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Glossary – Canadian Tuxedo?

I don’t think most Canadians have ever heard of this reference but apparently Americans call an outfit consisting of denim jacket and jeans a ‘Canadian Tuxedo’ — I think we are being insulted! There is a story that may be … Continue reading

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