"fur bikini"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jan 10 19:22:33 UTC 2007

On 1/10/07, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
> But what IS the etymology of "bikini"?  I would suppose the infamous atoll's
> name is Polynesian (meaning what, if anything, I wonder?).

It's from the Marshallese toponym _Pikinni_ [pikinniy], composed of
_pik_ 'surface' + _ni_ 'coconut'.

See: http://biloklok.blogspot.com/2005/04/bi-in-bikini.html

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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