One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shoe or clog with a raised sole or set on an iron ring, worn to raise one's feet above wet or muddy ground when walking outdoors.
- ‘The April rain from last night had made the ground muddy and she had no pattens to keep her shoes out of the mud.’
- ‘In 1768, for example, young William Drayton complained that ‘a man named Thompson’ had poured beer on him, while in 1771, young James Murdoch complained that ‘a woman named Palmer’ had hit him with a patten.’
- ‘She borrowed a pair of pattens to walk to the waterside, pretending to visit her grandmother.’
- ‘Beginning in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, shoes were worn with pattens - carved wooden supports with pedestals under the heel and ball - to protect the shoes.’
- ‘Made between 1750 and 1830, pattens were worn over the shoes and served to raise the wearer's foot above the mud and dirt beneath, rather like prototypical galoshes.’
Late Middle English: from Old French patin, perhaps from patte ‘paw’.
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