diaper

diaper mid-14c., "fabric with a repeated pattern of figures," from O.Fr. diaspre "ornamental cloth; flowered, patterned silk cloth," perhaps via M.L. diasprum from Medieval Gk. diaspros "thoroughly white," or perhaps "white interspersed with other colors," from dia- (see DIA- (Cf. dia-)) + aspros "white." Aspros originally meant "rough," and was applied to the raised parts of coins (among other things), and thus was used in Byzantine Greek to mean "silver coin," from which the bright, shiny qualities made it an adjective for whiteness. Modern sense of "underpants for babies" is continuous since 1837, but such usage has been traced back to 1590s. As a verb, from late 14c., "to put a small, repeated pattern on."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • diaper — [dī′pər, dī′ə pər] n. [ME < OFr diapre, diaspre, kind of ornamented cloth < ML diasprum, flowered cloth, altered (after dia , DIA , because of ML pronun. of initial j ) < jaspis < L iaspis, JASPER] 1. a) Archaic cloth or fabric with a …   English World dictionary

  • Diaper — Di a*per, v. t. 1. To ornament with figures, etc., arranged in the pattern called diaper, as cloth in weaving. Diapered light. H. Van Laun. [1913 Webster] Engarlanded and diapered With in wrought flowers. Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 2. To put a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Diaper — Di a*per (d[imac] [.a]*p[ e]r), n. [OF. diaspre, diapre, diaspe, sort of figured cloth, It. diaspro jasper, diaspo figured cloth, from L. jaspis a green colored precious stone. See {Jasper}.] 1. Any textile fabric (esp. linen or cotton toweling)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Diaper — Di a*per, v. i. To draw flowers or figures, as upon cloth. If you diaper on folds. Peacham. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Diaper — (Linen) A fine quality of linen fabric formerly manufactured in the city of Ypres. It was highly esteemed in England in the 13th century. The peculiarity of the cloth of Ypres was, like that of Damascus, in the pattern; as the term to diaper is… …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • Diaper — (engl., spr. Deiäper), geblümte, damastartige Linnen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Diaper — (engl. Deiäpr), geblümte, damastartige Leinwand …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • diaper — ► NOUN 1) N. Amer. a baby s nappy. 2) a fabric woven in a pattern of small diamonds. 3) a repeating geometrical pattern. ► VERB 1) N. Amer. put a nappy on (a baby). 2) decorate with a repeating geometrical pattern …   English terms dictionary

  • Diaper — Nappy redirects here. For other uses, see Nappy (disambiguation) and Diaper (disambiguation). For the geological term, see diapir. Disposable baby diaper with resealable tapes and elasticated leg cuffs …   Wikipedia

  • diaper — 01. When my daughter was a baby, my husband and I always took turns changing her [diapers]. 02. We don t use disposable [diapers] because they re too wasteful; we use cotton ones. 03. When I have kids, I will help my wife change our babies… …   Grammatical examples in English

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