Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hindi Word in English: Dungarees

The English word DUNGAREES (meaning trousers made of dungaree cloth) comes from Hindi dungri. The Hindi word comes from the name of a village, Dungri, famed for its production of this coarse calico (English "calico" is also an Indian word); Dungri is now one of the quarters of Mumbai (Bombay).

Dungaree is very much like denim, although dungaree is made from pre-colored yarn, while denim is usually colored after weaving. Dungaree fabric is sometimes called "blue denim." The word "denim," in fact, also comes from the a place name; denim fabric was originally made in the French city of Nimes, and the label "serge de Nimes" was shortened to "denim." The word "jeans" is also from a place name: Genes, the French name for Genoa, Italy, where denim trousers were made.

The image below is an official U.S. Navy photograph of Navy WAVES aircraft mechanics in Pensacola, Florida during World War II. They are wearing dungarees:

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