Friday, 5 August 2011
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
I have discovered that my trousers are kingly.
That's not to say that they appear regal to the nude eye, but etymologically they should sit upon a throne because they are made of corduroy.
The OED has two alternative etymologies for corduroy: either it is corde du roi, which is French for the king's cord, or it's named after the English surname Corderoy. However, that means it's kingly either way because the family name Corderoy comes from the French coeur de roi meaning heart of a king.
Oddly, the French don't call it corduroy or corde du roi, instead they called them king's cords, meaning that they had borrowed the English French term and translated it to make a French English one.
Corduroy was an English invention and was manufactured in Manchester, which is why the Germans used to call it Manchesterstoff, which sounds a lot less regal.