[Ads-l] Miniskirt/Minifalda

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 13 17:03:23 UTC 2016

Spanish Wikipedia gives the standard, Mary Quant story and mentions Courrèges,
adding that Quant said that, strictly speaking, she didn't invent the
minifalda, which had already been invented by the younger, hipper chicks of
Paris and London. Quant herself merely popularized the style.

The word, _minifalda_, can be Googled back to 1904, at least. But, did it
mean "miniskirt," back in that day?

Back in what was still Occupied Germany in the early '60's, what became
known as the "Beatle" haircut was already popular among young German guys.
My opinion is that the Fab Four picked up the style when they were working
in Hamburg  and elsewhere in West Germany.

Skirts in Europe were already shorter than skirts in the United States,
where the New Look held on like forever. Flashing a kneecap was "daring."
But, in Germany, top-of-the-kneecap was standard and bar-girls wore
super-short - for that era - mid-thigh-length skirts on the last of the
month, G.I. payday. But, AFAIK, there was no special term used for the
payday skirts.

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 10:54 AM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:

> According to the OED, "miniskirt" was formed within English, by
> compounding mini- and skirt.  However, does the historical record actually
> support this?
> The earliest known reference to "miniskirt" is in a humorous syndicated
> 1962 article datelined Mexico City and describing the "mini-skirt" or
> "Ya-Ya" as a controversial item of clothing that was the latest thing on
> the production line there.  That seems strong evidence that "miniskirt"
> might be a calque of the equivalent Spanish term, "minifalda."
> Unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish, but I wonder if anyone has examined
> the early history of "minifalda."
> John Baker
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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