One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pouch attached to a man's breeches or close-fitting hose to cover the genitals, worn in the 15th and 16th centuries.
- ‘In addition to experience and a small quantity of supplies he has brought with him some of the most amazing codpieces of the orient I have ever set my eyes upon.’
- ‘The shock behind the salesman's eyes could not have been greater had I asked him for a pair of spats, or to show me their current range of codpieces.’
- ‘The body and dress of King Henry VIII of England served as icons of masculinity and power, his extravagant codpieces denoting his virility.’
- ‘In medieval and early modern times, male dress was opulent and highly erotic, as the Renaissance codpiece attests.’
- ‘Perhaps a larger codpiece is required, and tights in a richer and more noble shade of purple.’
From earlier cod ‘scrotum’ (from Old English codd ‘bag, pod’) + piece.
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