One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(A piece of cloth forming) either side of the lower part of a coat, dress, etc.; usually in plural (now rare).
2A panel fitted to the side of a motor car or other vehicle, extending below the main bodywork between the front and rear wheels and typically also covering the wheel arches.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in George Wilkins (d. 1618), playwright and pamphleteer.
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