Where does the word “farthingale” come from and What does farthingale mean?

Heaven grant that the garment known as the farthingale doesn’t come into style again, but it may, of course, though it can have nothing to recommend it.

It was a kind of hooped skirt, extending from hips to feet, and as nearly a perfect cylinder as skill could make it, the top covered by flounces.

It was the height of fashion in England just three hundred years ago.

But the name had to do with neither farthings nor gales; it was a curious corruption, through French, of Spanish verdugo, meaning “rod,” for the garment owed its shape to a framework of rods.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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