This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Word To Use Today: gusset.

Is there a word that's more satisfying to say than gusset?

On the whole I think not.

A gusset is most commonly a piece of of fabric sewn between the seams of a garment to make it stronger or the right shape. Tights (pantyhose in some places, I understand)

File:Lena pantyhose 200x600.png
illustration by Znakezwamp

often boast of their reinforced gussets. These are the bits which sag down as you wear them and make moving at anything faster than a waddle close to impossible.

Builders use gussets, too. (Yes, even the ones who don't wear tights):

photo by TomerTW  The gusset plate is the bit stuck with rivets. According to Wikipedia they're used to connect truss members. The mind boggles.

Originally, of course (though you'll all know this) a gusset was a piece of mail (the stuff that's usually inaccurately called chain mail) fitted between plates of armour, or into the leather or cloth underclothes worn by knights.

Underwear made of leather and mail?

Good grief. And I thought it was bad enough having to wear tights.

Word To Use Today: gusset. This word  comes from the Old French gousset, a piece of mail. It's a diminutive of gousse, which means pod.

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