[An-lang] etymology of bikini

John Bowden John.Bowden at anu.edu.au
Tue Jan 11 03:25:06 UTC 2005

I'm forwarding this message to the list from someone who is not a
subscriber. Could anyone with an answer please write directly to Dr
Nikolaev at boyannikolaev at yahoo.com

John Bowden


In December I initiated a small discussion in the LINGUIST mail-list. Dr.
Fay Wouk of the
Linguistics Department of the University of Auckland advised me to consult
you about the true etymology of bikini. Here is my initial letter:
I am working on an article about neologisms.

The word BIKINI, I think, was misinterpreted in 1946 as being Latin and
consisting of bi- (=two) + something unclear. So, in time it dropped its
bi- and became MONOKINI, even TANKKINI.

Could anyone tell me what the real Polynesian (Marshallese) word means and
help me explain it not considering the Latin bi-?

Dr Boyan Nikolaev
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