One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pouch, especially a conspicuous and decorative one, attached to a man's breeches or close-fitting hose to cover the genitals, worn in the 15th and 16th centuries.
- ‘Perhaps a larger codpiece is required, and tights in a richer and more noble shade of purple.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In medieval and early modern times, male dress was opulent and highly erotic, as the Renaissance codpiece attests.’
- ‘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.’
From earlier cod ‘scrotum’ (from Old English codd ‘bag, pod’) + piece.
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