The words 'slip' and 'petticoat'

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The words 'slip' and 'petticoat'

Post by MaskedMan on Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:38 pm

When I was growing up (in the UK, near London), some of the slip-wearing women and girls I encountered referred to their slips as their 'petticoats'.

The garments these women were referring to were definitely what the shops would call 'slips'- I'm almost certain they were all half-slips. But still, they used the word 'petticoat'.

My mum was a definite example. As a kid, I had seen her underwear drying on the laundry line sometimes- she wore white Marks and Spencers half-slips. However I occasionally overheard her saying something to my dad like "I'll have to wear a petticoat under it."
Some teachers and a couple of the girls in my school were the same (on the very rare times they mentioned underskirts).

However, I've noticed when I talk to people about this in the chatroom, often they take 'petticoat' to mean something like a crinoline, or the layers of net underskirts that go under ballgowns.
I suspect it might be a British thing to use the word 'petticoat' for a normal slip.

My question: Have you heard women using the word 'petticoat' meaning a slip? Any thoughts?

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Re: The words 'slip' and 'petticoat'

Post by Robbies on Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:41 pm

I was brought up in the South of the UK and when I grew up, a slip was an underskirt of nylon material and a petticoat was made of cotton.

I think for people further up North, the term Petticoat I believe came about in the 1950s with the net tulle petticoats that ladies used to wear under their circle skirts and dresses.

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Re: The words 'slip' and 'petticoat'

Post by Jancurry on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:10 am

The words slip and petticoat were often used to describe the same item in my area. However correctly used, a slip was an extra garment used to cover up if the skirt or dress was too thin, and a petticoat, or more, was used to push the skirt out. A slip was not meant to be seen but if a petticoat escaped now and then it was not a disaster.

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Re: The words 'slip' and 'petticoat'

Post by MaskedMan on Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:55 am

Very interesting responses- thanks.

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Re: The words 'slip' and 'petticoat'

Post by silky73 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:46 pm

Hi there,

The conversations and encounters I have had over the years have been mainly relating to them as slips, although I grew up with them knowing them as underskirts, which I prefer really, and sounds so much nicer than slip. I have also heard the regards as petticoats, but as Jancurry pointed out, to be regarded as an item of underwear to flush out the skirt, mainly used in the 50s and 60s, but still used today of course.

Being from the UK, the term underskirt is used quite a bit, and used by my wife, but slip or slips is the majority phrased used by the general populations of wearers etc.

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