Wednesday, 23 November 2016

How the Cod-Piece was invented


Have you ever wondered why a pair of trousers (or 'pants' if you are either American or John Gray) is referred to in the plural when it is in one piece? "Fetch me my pair of trousers Geeves." "Yes Sir, I will fetch them immediately."

Well, the first trousers were just two legs - a left and a right one. This left the man's bits and pieces exposed to the elements, and woollen undergarments did not stop a strong East wind, so a seperate, strap-on (no, not one of those) piece was made that covered the gap between the two legs. I once tried to make a pair of trousers from a pattern, but just could not get then into one item, despite detailed instructions.

This joke is pants.

Q: What has four legs and flies?

A: Two pairs of trousers.

For John.
(Image courtesy of Lucy Worseley - the dirty bitch!)

35 comments:

  1. The word "cod-piece" makes me giggle. I imagine a wriggling fish down the front of a man's pants. haha.

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    1. Like Jennifer, I was thinking of a fish. Then I googled the word origin of cod and found out that it is Middle English for scrotum. Now I like the word cod so much better.

      That Lucy Worseley! I saw a documentary with her in which she admired the cod-piece of Henry VIII.

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    2. Scrotum? I never knew that. I thought it was a word for 'faux' or fake. I believe that armour was Henry VIII's.

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  2. These funny plurals with "pair" didn't necessarily start life as two separate pieces though. Ever the pedant, I am thinking of a pair of scissors, knickers, tongs, tweezers, and others. But I am happy to learn about the origin of the cod-piece.

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    1. Knickers did, and scissors did. I believe you can still buy the knickers.

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  3. I have always referred to trousers as pants...I always had trouble spelling trousers

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    1. More crotch pictures please!

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    2. Don't say I don't look after you.

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    3. I notice it has a little hole in the end of it. That's handy. Safe sex taken to the extreme.

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  4. It is said that the cod piece allowed extra room for bandages and dressings because of the spread of syphilis ..... I'm full of useless information !!! XXXX

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    1. That's the last time I borrow your husband's cod piece.

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  5. lean and spectacled pantaloon . . . youthful hose well saved . . .

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  6. I thought you weren't feeling well.

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    1. He's obviously perked up Rachel .... a bit of trouser talk does wonders .... far better than paracetamol !! XXXX

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    2. I'm not. How should I be behaving when out of bed?

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    3. For you maybe, Jack@. I still feel like shite but I am putting on a brave face. Tomorrow I will soldier on, but now I return to the sick bed.

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    4. You didn't visit my blog.

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    5. That's probably because Blogger has changed everything again and I now have to search for other people's posts, so they are easy to miss. Don't worry, I'll get round to it, but I may creep in anonymously.

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  7. Back to pants: ladies' fashion shops have now started referring to "pant" in the singular.

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    1. It's funny how La Clinton was always refered to as wearing a pants suit, but never Ma Merckle.

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    2. I always liked the classic line in the airport torrid romance novels - 'Her breath came in hot pants...'

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  8. Nothing to do with fish and chips then?

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  9. If Vivienne Westwood had her way, they'd probably be back in the shops.

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    1. I think syou can have them made to order - in fact I know you can. I have three for different occasions.

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    2. My working codpiece is leather.

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