Long underwear

Long underwear, often called long johns, is a style of two-piece underwear with long sleeves and long legs that is normally worn during cold weather. It offers an advantage over the union suit in that the wearer can choose to wear either the top, bottom, or both parts depending on the weather. Long underwear are also less commonly known as "long handles".

Modern long underwear has largely supplanted the one-piece union suit. It is usually made from a cotton or cotton-polyester blend fabric with a box-weave texture, although some varieties are also made from flannel, particularly the union suit, while many newer varieties are made from polypropylene, such as the Capilene trade name. The type known as "thermal underwear" is made from two-ply fabric, which uses trapped body heat to insulate against cold air.

Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford has been credited with inventing thermal underwear.Fact|date=April 2008

An adjustable two-piece design is credited to Truro, Nova Scotia native Frank Stanfield of Stanfield's Limited who patented his design on 7 December 1915. Earlier, in 1898 Frank Stanfield and his brother John had developed a product called Stanfield's Unshrinkable Undewear. [Mario Theriault, "Great Maritme Inventions 1833-1950", Goose Lane, 2001, p. 35.]

Etymology of "Long Johns"

According to Michael Quinion [Michael Quinlon, [http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-lon2.htm "World Wide Words"] ] , "John" may be a reference to boxer John L. Sullivan, who wore a similar looking garment in the ring. However, this explanation is uncertain and the word's origin is ultimately unknown.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • long underwear — n. underwear worn for keeping warm, often having full length sleeves and legs fitting snugly at the wrists and ankles …   English World dictionary

  • long underwear — long′ un′derwear n. clo a close fitting, usu. knitted undergarment with legs reaching to the ankles, worn as protection against cold …   From formal English to slang

  • long underwear — noun an undergarment with shirt and drawers in one piece • Syn: ↑union suit • Hypernyms: ↑undergarment, ↑unmentionable * * * a close fitting, usually knitted undergarment with legs reaching to the ankles, as a union suit, worn as protection… …   Useful english dictionary

  • long underwear — a close fitting, usually knitted undergarment with legs reaching to the ankles, as a union suit, worn as protection against the cold. * * * …   Universalium

  • Long john — or long johns may refer to:* Long underwear * Éclair, in some parts of the US * Doughnut in the shape of a bar, with or without a filling * Freight bicycle, for carrying heavy loads * The Long Johns , a series of sketches by the British satirists …   Wikipedia

  • long|ies — «LNG eez, LONG », noun (plural). 1. long underwear. 2. long winter pants for boys …   Useful english dictionary

  • long johns — long′ johns n. pl. clo long underwear • Etymology: 1940–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • long johns — ☆ long johns n. Informal long underwear …   English World dictionary

  • long johns — noun warm underwear with long legs • Usage Domain: ↑colloquialism, ↑plural, ↑plural form • Hypernyms: ↑underwear, ↑underclothes, ↑underclothing * * * noun plural …   Useful english dictionary

  • underwear — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. underclothes, undergarments, underthings, unmentionables (inf.), lingerie, drawers, union suit, BVDs, briefs, panties, panty hose; foundation [garment], girdle, panty girdle, brassiere, bra, corset.… …   English dictionary for students

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