bodice


bodice
[16] Originally, bodice was identical with bodies – that is, the plural of body. This use of body began early in the 16th century, when it referred to the part of a woman’s dress that 67 bolt covered the trunk, as opposed to the arms; and it soon became restricted specifically to the part above the waist. The reason for the adoption of the plural form (which was often used originally in the phrase pair of bodies) was that the upper portion of women’s dresses was usually in two parts, which fastened down the middle. In the 17th and 18th centuries the term bodice was frequently applied to ‘corsets’. => BODY

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:
, / (of a dress),