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G-string

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Title: G-string  
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Subject: Undergarment, Bikini, Lingerie, Thong (clothing), Swimsuit
Collection: 20Th-Century Fashion, Lingerie, Swimsuits
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G-string

Woman wearing a G-string

A G-string is a type of thong, a narrow piece of cloth, leather, or plastic, that covers or holds the genitals, passes between the buttocks, and is attached to a band around the hips. A G-string is most commonly worn by women as underwear, but may also be worn by men. It may also be worn in swimwear, where it may serve as a bikini bottom, but may be worn alone as a monokini or topless swimsuit. G-strings may also be worn by exotic or go-go dancers. As underwear, a G-string may be worn in preference to panties to avoid creation of a visible panty line.

The two terms G-string and thong are sometimes used interchangeably; however, technically they refer to different pieces of clothing.

Contents

  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Etymology

Since the 19th century, the term geestring referred to the string which held the loincloth of Native Americans[1] and later referred to the narrow loincloth itself. William Safire in his Ode on a G-String quoted the usage of the word "G-string" for loincloth by Harper's Magazine 15 years after John Hanson Beadle's 1877 usage and suggested that the magazine confused the word with the musical term G-string (i.e., the string for the G note). This is apocryphal, as the narrowest string on a violin is the E string.[2]

Safire also mentions the opinion of linguist Robert Hendrickson that G (or gee) stands for groin, which was a taboo word at the time.[3]

Cecil Adams, author of the blog The Straight Dope, has proposed an origin from "girdle-string", which is attested as early as 1846.[4]

History

G String Bikini

The G-string first appeared in costumes worn by showgirls in Earl Carroll's productions during the Jazz Age. Linguist Robert Hendrickson believes that the 'G' stands for 'groin'.[2] The Oxford English Dictionary reports that the G-string was originally a narrow strip of fabric worn by Indian women. During the Depression, a "G-string" was known as "the gadget", a double-entendre that referred to a handyman's "contrivance", an all-purpose word for the thing that might "fix" things.[2] During the 1930s, the "Chicago G-string" gained prominence when worn by performers like Margie Hart. The Chicago area was the home of some of the largest manufacturers of G-strings and it also became the center of the burlesque shows in the United States.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Beadle, John Hanson (1877). Western Wilds, and the Men Who Redeem Them: An Authentic Narrative. p. 249. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rachel Shteir (1 November 2004). Striptease:The Untold History of the Girlie Show: The Untold History of the Girlie Show. Oxford University Press. p. 202.  
  3. ^ Safire, William (August 4, 1991). "On Language; Ode on a G-String".  
  4. ^  
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