Submitted by goossun on May 9, 2004
What does the G stand for in “G-string”? (besides covering part of the ass:)
May 11, 2004, 6:43pm
The first guy who saw it went, "Gee, what a nice ass!"
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May 9, 2004, 11:32pm
From http://www.takeourword.com/TOW131/page2.html we have this:
"The word was initially (1878) 'geestring,' and it referred to what amounted to a loincloth held up by a string and worn by certain Indians. Most etymologists think that 'geestringi' was probably originally an Indian word which was adopted in a form that was more familiar to English tongues.... It was shortened to 'g-string,' possibly by contamination from the notion of stringed instruments like guitars and violins, by 1891, at which time we find this interesting quotation in Harper's Magazine: 'Some of the boys wore only "G-strings" (as, for some reason, the breech-clout is commonly called on the prairie).' This suggests that the word may have been of Sioux or other Plains Indian origin."
But.... Ummm... I don't know. That sounds pretty darn silly to me. A linguist could tell you if the consonant sound "-str-" is common in the Sioux language or any Plains Indian language. I'm skeptical.
I was once told that the G stood for "genital" (as in "the genital organs"), because that is all it covers. Of course this is unattested (no evidence to support it) and I can't say yes or no on it.
The best that The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed., via Dictionary.com) can do is to throw up its hands and declare "Origin unknown."
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