Posted by David FG on April 29, 2007
In Reply to: Pants posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 25, 2007
: : Why is the expression - a pair of pants - but you don't have a pair of shirts?
: Because in the Middle Ages men's legwear, worn over the linen drawers, consisted of two separate hose (leggings/stockings), fastened individually to the belt. Thus they were genuinely a pair, unlike the shirt which has always been a single garment. The hose didn't finally become a single garment till the very end of the 15th century.
: When women took to wearing drawers, they too were originally separate leg-coverings attached to a drawstring round the waist, and didn't become a single garment till well into the 19th century. (VSD)
Fascinating stuff, Smokey and Victoria - I have idly wondered about that before, but never done anything about actually finding out.
But it does leave a question: Victoria has given the reason for pairs of drawers and so on, but why scissors (to name just one example)? I know there are (obviously) two bits to a pair of scissors, but the whole is clearly one 'thing'.