Wednesday, September 19, 2007

wednesday's word: g-string

paul labriola, 1950s

jee string

probably the earliest form of clothing, ca. 73,000 b.c.e., a type of thong made of a strip of cloth, leather, or plastic cupping the genitals, running through the thighs + between the butt cheeks, connecting at a belt around the hips, known universally, mainly associated with africa, asia, + the americas.

word’s first known english use in john h. beadle’s western wilds + the men who redeem them, 1878: “around each boy’s waist is the tight ‘geestring,’ from which a single strip of cloth runs between the limbs from front to back.”

questionable etymology: perhaps short for ‘girdle string’ or ‘groin string’; perhaps pertaining to the g-string of a violin, the lowest string; most likely derived from a plains indian word, ‘geestringi,’ for a thong worn by native americans

used by female strippers + exotic dancers in the west, beginning in the 1920s, to provide minimal legal coverage; adopted by male dancers + physique models beginning in the 1940s; beachwear in brazil beginning in the 1970s, to emphasize the butt cheeks, gradually catching on in the rest of the western world in the 1980s + 1990s as both beachwear + underwear.

synonyms: brazilian, dancing belt, fundoshi, gee-string, gee string, posing pouch, posing strap, rio, tanga, t-back, thong, t-string, v-string

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