Boxer shorts.

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 8 11:51:23 UTC 2001

yOn Sun, 7 Jan 2001, Mark Odegard wrote:

> Dan. buxer, Sw. byxor (pl), fr. MLG buxe, boxe, contracted from *buck-hose,
> i.e., 'trousers of buckskin'
> -end quote-
> This is tantalizing.
> I've always assumed boxer shorts are named after boxing shorts, but am now
> quite curious.

The OED's definition notes, "similar in design to the shorts worn by
boxers in the rign."  There's no reason to look to Scandinavian roots.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Public Services     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  and Lecturer in Legal Research            Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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