One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A woman's light, loose undergarment hanging from the shoulders or the waist, worn under a skirt or dress.
slip, underskirt, half-slip, underslip, undergarmentView synonyms
- ‘Elizabeth had only gone a little ways into the trees beyond her house when her stays and petticoat lead to her ruin and Will caught her.’
- ‘The undergarments included stockings, petticoats, drawers, and a corset.’
- ‘She swiftly pulled on the tunic, then the stockings, the corset, petticoats, skirt and boots.’
- ‘Lydie wore several extra petticoats under her dress and over it was a warm peacoat.’
- ‘She removed eight petticoats, a corset and silk stockings; finally she stood in just her white linen shift and several pounds of jewelry.’
- ‘But that was still two weeks off, and Taira was still dressed in pinafores and petticoats, though now she was where fur shawls in a desperate fight to keep out the cold.’
- ‘At the bottom of the trunk she found a set of white undergarments including lacy petticoats and a full corseted bodice.’
- ‘She clapped her hands three times and in walked half a dozen servant girls, carrying undergarments and petticoats.’
- ‘Layers of stiff net petticoats went under taffeta strapless dresses that made waists look tiny.’
- ‘The gown had small puffy sleeves that were off the shoulder, and a multitude of petticoats made the skirt more full and rustled when the girl walked.’
- ‘White work in clothing is seen in petticoats, camisoles, waistcoats, caps, baby garments, and cloaks.’
- ‘Meanwhile, Caroline Bates nearly set the catwalk on fire with her 50s-inspired creations featuring huge flower prints on A-line skirts worn over taffeta petticoats.’
- ‘She raised her skirts to above her knees, allowing her petticoats and lace stockings to show, but time was of the essence.’
- ‘It consists of a madras head-tie and a skirt with lace petticoats draped at the sides.’
- ‘The dress is obviously white but has layers of petticoats beneath the skirt making it poof out.’
- ‘I have always felt more comfortable in skirts and dresses and slips and petticoats.’
- ‘Kirby grabbed the sword at Jason's side and ran, tripping on the skirts and petticoats of her dress.’
- ‘The women wore dresses with many petticoats, gloves on their hands, and bonnets or hats on their heads.’
- ‘There was a wardrobe in the corner of the room where I could hang my gowns and a dark-stained dresser sat by the vanity table where I could keep all of my petticoats and other such undergarments.’
- ‘After the corset episode, I slipped on a stiff wide hoop skirt and two white petticoats on top of it.’
- 1.1derogatory, informal as modifier Used to denote female control of something regarded as more commonly dominated by men.‘he was in danger of succumbing to the petticoat government of Mary and Sarah’
- ‘Nancy was renowned as a petticoat president who dominated the White House.’
Late Middle English: from petty coat, literally ‘small coat’: the word originally referred to a garment worn by men under a coat or doublet. The second sense derives from a later use to mean ‘skirt’.
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