garter


garter
[14] The ultimate source of garter was probably an unrecorded Gaulish word meaning ‘leg’ (related to Welsh gar ‘leg’). It was borrowed into Old French at some point and used as the basis of the noun garet, which (in relation to people) meant ‘place where the leg bends, knee’. From this in turn was derived Old 239 gauntlet French gartier ‘band just above or below the knee’, source of English garter. The British Order of the Garter dates, according to the medieval French chronicler Jean Froissart, from around 1344. The story of its origin, not recorded until over 250 years later and never authenticated, is that while the Countess of Salisbury was dancing with King Edward III, her garter fell off; the king picked it up and put it on his own leg, remarking somewhat cryptically in Anglo-French ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ – ‘Shamed be he who thinks evil of it’, and named the order of knighthood which he founded after this very garter.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Garter — can refer to: *Garter (stockings), an item of clothing used to hold up stockings *Order of the Garter, a senior British order of chivalry:*Ladies of the Garter (1358 1488), female members of the mediaeval Order of the Garter:*List of Knights and… …   Wikipedia

  • Garter — Gar ter, n. [OE. gartier, F. jarreti[ e]re, fr. OF. garet bend of the knee, F. jarret; akin to Sp. garra claw, Prov. garra leg. See {Garrote}.] 1. A band used to prevent a stocking from slipping down on the leg. [1913 Webster] 2. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Garter — Gar ter, n. [OE. gartier, F. jarreti[ e]re, fr. OF. garet bend of the knee, F. jarret; akin to Sp. garra claw, Prov. garra leg. See {Garrote}.] 1. A band used to prevent a stocking from slipping down on the leg. [1913 Webster] 2. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Garter — Gar ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Gartered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Gartering}.] 1. To bind with a garter. [1913 Webster] He . . . could not see to garter his hose. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To invest with the Order of the Garter. T. Warton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • garter — (n.) early 14c., from O.N.Fr. gartier band just above or below the knee (O.Fr. jartier, 14c., Mod.Fr. jarretière), from garet bend of the knee, perhaps from Gaulish (Cf. Welsh garr leg ). Garter as the highest order of knighthood (mid 14c.),… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Garter — Garter, the Order of the the highest order of British ↑knighthood. The sign of the Order of the Garter is a blue ↑velvet garter …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • garter — [gärt′ər] n. [ME < NormFr gartier < OFr garet, jaret, small of the leg behind the knee < Celt, as in Bret gar, shank of the leg] 1. an elastic band, or a fastener suspended from a band, girdle, etc., for holding a stocking or sock in… …   English World dictionary

  • Garter — Garter, 1) (engl.), Kniegürtel; daher Garterorden, Hosenbandorden; 2) Rang der englischen Kriegsschiffe nach ihrer Größe, s.u. Kriegschiffe …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • garter — ► NOUN 1) a band worn around the leg to keep up a stocking or sock. 2) N. Amer. a suspender for a sock or stocking. DERIVATIVES gartered adjective. ORIGIN Old French gartier, from garet bend of the knee, calf of the leg …   English terms dictionary

  • garter — n. & v. n. 1 a band worn to keep a sock or stocking up. 2 (the Garter) Brit. a the highest order of English knighthood. b the badge of this. c membership of this. 3 US a suspender for a sock or stocking. v.tr. fasten (a stocking) or encircle (a… …   Useful english dictionary