One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A woman's outdoor cloak of variable style, fashionable especially in the mid 19th cent.
= pardessus de viole.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Godey's Lady's Book. From French pardessus, use as noun of par-dessus (adverb) over, above from par + dessus over, upon, above (12th cent. in Old French as desus; from classical Latin dēsūrsum (frequently dēsūsum) from above (condemned by Quintilian as a barbarism; subsequently attested from Vetus Latina) from dē from + sūrsum above, on high, probably after dēsuper from above)<br>1950s; earliest use found in Grove's Dictionary of Music. Either short for pardessus de viole, or from French pardessus, short for pardessus de viole.
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