Boys' Clothing Glossary: "O"

Figure 1.--.

We have begun to build a glossary of boys' clothing terms. As boys clothes until the 19th century was the sane as adult male clothing, we have included many applicable men's clothing terms. We have also included some women's terms as younger boys commonly wore dresses until the 20th century. As HBC is extensively used by non-native English speakers we plan to give considerable attention to this glossary so that words can be looked up. It will also serve as an index as we will provide links to the appropriate pages. We eventually hope to add foreign words, but that will take some time.

Old boy tie: When boys leave the school they are entitled to join the old boys association and they usually have ties and a cravat with their own distinctive colours.

Old school tie: The term "old school tie" has come to mean the upper-middle-class solidarity and system of mutual assistance attributed to alumni of British public schools. While best known in England, the same basic trend can be noted in former British colonies like Australia and New Zealand as well as the United States where ties were often worn at the prestigious private schools. We suspect that this tendency is prevalent in may other countries. In fact the term term is also used to mean the narrow clannish attitudes characteristic of the members of a clique in general.

Orphanage uniforms: An orphanage is a facility for the care of orphaned or neglected children. Orphanages bring up very negative images in proples minds around the world. The word to many means the bleakness that Charles Dickens described in the mid-19th century. The image of poor Oliver asking for more porage is what most of us think about. The Dicksonian vision has been adopted in America and many European countries. Many early orphanages were indeed very bleak and often dangerous places. Many orphanages by the 20th century, however, were adequately addressing the basic needs of indigent children. Modern concepts have moved toward the group home and foster parents to better meet the needs of children in need.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: July 9, 2001
Last updated: July 10, 2001