One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1knickerbockersLoose-fitting breeches gathered at the knee or calf.
- ‘About 30 followers, many in red waistcoats and green knickerbockers, gathered yesterday to mark the last official hare hunt.’
- ‘Even when I was six years old, I was a page boy at a wedding, and the outfit I wanted to wear was knickerbockers, knee-length socks, frilly shirt, and ballet shoes.’
- ‘He was dressed in a fancy pale blue over jacket with matching knickerbockers, and white hose.’
- ‘Turton FC was founded in 1871 and in 1873 issued a book of rules showing that the Harrow form of football was played and that the club colours were blue knickerbockers, white stockings and white jerseys.’
- ‘Pupils came to school in historic costume, including Eton collars for the boys and three-quarter length knickerbockers and pinafores for the girls.’
2informal A New Yorker.
- ‘Unlike the old Knickerbocker establishment, where birth and breeding gave social standing, in this democratic meritocracy it is the prestige of your job that tells us where you are in the social order.’
- ‘They were among the oldest of the Knickerbockers on this island.’
- 2.1 A descendant of the original Dutch settlers in New York.
Mid 19th century (originally in knickerbocker (sense 2)): named after Diedrich Knickerbocker, pretended author of W. Irving's History of New York (1809). knickerbocker (sense 1) is said to have arisen from the resemblance of knickerbockers to the knee breeches worn by Dutch men in George Cruikshank's illustrations in Irving's book.
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