merry widow


merry widow

noun

  1. a woman’s undergarment consisting of a strapless brassiere and short corset with attached garters.

1907, from the English title of Franz Lehar’s operetta “Die Lustige Witwe” (1905). “The Lusty Widow” would have been more etymological (see lust (n.)), but would have given the wrong impression in English. Meaning “a type of wide-brimmed hat” (popularized in the play) is attested from 1908.

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