Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Regarding Pajamas

This is what I call a straight answer to a straight question.

Q...Dear 100 Hour Board,what is the origin of pajamas? have we always worn them? and why is the most common idea of pajamas the red-striped gown with a long cap? was this the first....brand?- sleep deprived

A...Dear Deprived, The word pajama comes from a Hindi word that means "leg clothing". Pajamas were introduced around 1880 from India for men to wear for sleeping instead of nightshirts. You can listen to a podcast about the origin of the word pajamas at this site
http://podictionary.libsyn.com.... Nightshirts were like along man's shirt, that came down to the knee or midcalf. Pajamas are different
because they cover the legs, whether it be a shirt and pants, or the one-piece footie pjs. You can still buy the footed pajamas, they sell them in adult sizes at this site
http://www.jumpinjammerz.com/d.... As for the red-striped gown with a long cap, I didn't find any official source saying this is the most common idea of pajamas. I know I didn't picture this when I first thought of pajamas. I think of some flannel plaid shirt and pants. Plus, a gown technically isn't pajamas, since it doesn't involve trousers (look at any definition of pajamas, such as at http://dictionary.reference.co...). I think that would fall in the category of a nightshirt.
-Wilhelmina Wafflewitz

Gives a whole new dimension to the word straight, doesn't it?
Not even a hint of a cheap shot! And I love that she used the word trousers.
I could not have answered the question without at least one little reference to Pajamas Media.

1 comment:

ilona said...

I remember my grandfather used a nightshirt- it looked just like the ones you can see in the early talkies like Laurel and Hardy comedies, sort of a long white shirt with a henley neck.