bobby sox

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Apr 21 16:17:08 UTC 2004

I'll look around a bit, but in case I don't find anything decisive for a
long time, I'll give my initial impression FWIW.

"Booby-socks brigade" etc. referring to fad-conscious schoolgirls dates
from ca. 1943.

"Bobby socks" = "short socks", since ca. 1932. Worn by women and boys and

By comparison, "bobby pin" (also called "bobby hair pin" sometimes early),
since ca. 1928. Apparently associated with a "bob", or "bobbed" (i.e., cut
short) hair style.

I think probably these can all be "antedated" but the sequence should persist.

It is plausible that the "bobby" simply meant "cut short". The pin may have
been called "bobby" for euphony or as a catchy trademark (registered or
not), based on the "bob"/"bobbed" hairstyle. Then the socks may have been
called "bobby" instead of "bobbed" by analogy to the pin, perhaps to
connote "cut short and modern/fashionable". Or something like that.

-- Doug Wilson

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