Monday, October 26, 2009


Plimsoll: A 19th century British term for canvas shoes (aka sneakers, trainers, Keds, Vans, athletic shoes, etc.), often worn at the beach. This eponymous word is twice removed from its eponym: Samuel Plimsoll. Samuel Plimsoll, a British MP, took up the cause of regulating ship loading in the 19th century and thus came the eponymous Plimsoll line on the outside of a ship's hull indicating safe loading conditions. Somehow this term was transferred to beach shoes.
I think the only time I'd go there before I met you was when I needed plimsolls for the beach.
A Book for Today: The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee

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