What Ever Happened To Dungarees?

07F437D8-8C94-42A8-88A6-A5F0357806BEI walked into a department store a few days ago and asked the sales clerk if she could direct me to the department that sold dungarees. A wrinkle appeared on her forehead and she said, “Dungar what?”

Okay, that didn’t really happen. I wrote that as an excuse to use the word “wrinkle” for today’s one-word prompt.

But seriously, folks, are you familiar with dungarees? No, it’s not the native language of the people who live in the country of Dungar.

When I was a kid I wore blue jeans at home (we weren’t allowed to wear jeans at school), and when the knees in the jeans became threadbare, my mom would always say, “Time to get you a new pair of dungarees.”

Back then, dungarees referred to pants and overalls. The word is a relic of the British colonial presence in India. “Dungri” is the name of a particular type of thick, durable cotton cloth exported from India to England in the 18th century. It was originally used to make sails and tents. Eventually “dungri” cloth was used to make work clothes. Somewhere along the way, an extra syllable was added to its name, and became “dungarees.”

These days, dungarees is simply an antiquated term for what we call “jeans,” casual trousers made of denim, most often blue in color.

The term “jeans” is allegedly an altered form of the name “Genoa,” the Italian city that was once an important source of the cloth. Similarly, “denim” is a mutation of “serge de Nimes,” referring to Nimes, France, also an early source of the fabric.

The more you know….C473F332-E1A5-43BB-9744-A13BF9B5FC51

26 thoughts on “What Ever Happened To Dungarees?

  1. J-Dub March 16, 2018 / 10:06 am

    Haha! At first I was sure that happened. Good one. Interesting details on dungarees.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rugby843 March 16, 2018 / 11:03 am

    Yes familiar with the term, then it migrated to blue jeans, and now jeans here in my area. Denim is a wonderful durable fabric. Here it is accepted everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sight11 March 16, 2018 / 11:21 am

    Who knew?? I like to know more about your parent, Sensei. Jim have wonderful ones, we know about Sandi.. So spill the beans..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rugby843 March 16, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    After seeing the photo again, I thought of my husband who hated shopping. In the last two years of his life his favorite trouser(for those of you across the pond) was a light blue pair of Levi’s. Looking at the huge different types and colors, he only chose one. When they became ripped or worn in spots, it was my job to mend them. When that was impossible, we had to search for another identical pair. No other would work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. newepicauthor March 16, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    When I was young people either wore Levis, Wrangler or Lee jeans, as basically that was all that existed till those Jordache tight jeans from the 1980s entered the market, and these were much more expensive. I read that jeans were made popular after James Dean wore them in Rebel Without a Cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane Gundogan March 16, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    I wanted to write “oh come on Eileen” but then I thought you might be a generation or two behind me and wonder just who the hell Eileen is and have to google Dexys Midnight Runners.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 16, 2018 / 9:53 pm

      A generation or two behind you? Oh, Jane, you flatter me. I was in my thirties when that song came out and my wife, kids, and I would sing that song at the top of our lungs every time it came on the radio. I loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. baddadcartoons101 March 16, 2018 / 10:38 pm

    Only 501’s for me, going about 40 years, I like to keep it simple, no sequined wings on the pockets. Remember the shrink to fit jeans where you would need a degree in math to make the calculation in size to figure out what the shrunk size would come out to be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 17, 2018 / 5:58 am

      There are too many size and cut options these days. My body is such that jeans never fit the way I want them to, so I have given up trying. I wear 513’s slim cut jeans.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Marilyn Armstrong March 17, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    Somehow, somewhere, they became jeans. But, fear not. They are STILL dungarees if by another name.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. leigha66 March 19, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    I have heard them called dungarees before but never knew the origin, thanks for the info.

    Liked by 1 person

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