Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Weskit Apologies.

In past articles I have used the term "weskit" to describe an 18th century waistcoat. Today one of my readers contacted me to tell me that this term "weskit" was a 19th century term. From where & from whom I I got this term weskit I can't remember, but regardless it is entirely my own fault for not double checking & doing my own research. So I want to apologies to all my readers for spreading this misinformation, I feel a right twit !!! Especially as I have also written extensively on the importance of doing "your own research" Arrrrggg!

First use: 1849
Origin: alteration of waistcoat

Weskit ~ vest
http://www.scottish-wedding-dreams.com/scottish-words.html#W ~ Scottish words
He stuffed this objet trove, whatever it was, into a weskit pocket without looking at it, and carried on briskly.

Virginia Piedmont (20)
When an R comes after a vowel, it becomes UH, and AW becomes the slided sound, AH-AW. Thus, four dogs becomes fo-uh dah-awgs. Some local words are: hoppergrass(grasshopper), old-field colt (illegitimate child), school breaks up (school lets out), weskit (vest).

weskit A colloquial rendering of the word 'waistcoat'

Waistcoat+(or WesKit) Waistcoats vests were worn by most men as a normal part of their everyday clothing  in both summer and winter. Sleeved waistcoats were much preferred for winter. They were worn over the shirt and breeches and under a frock or coat. They were made of linen, fustian, silk or fine wool twill, and almost always lined. The length of the waistcoat was determined by the wearer, In the mid 1700s they were generally mid thigh and got shorter as the century progressed. They may have been striped, printed, checked, or solid, and matched or contrasted with the breeches and the coat. While many waistcoats were cut to fit the wearer snugly and fashionable, others were made with lacing or ties on the back to draw the waistcoat snug. Lacing or ties are very practical for weight gain and loss, but were seldom used on sleeved waistcoats. Most waistcoats had front pockets at the waist, yet some had "false pockets" with only a pocket flap complete with buttonholes.

WESKIT / WAISTCOAT The waistcoat was considered a “must” for wear if one did not have a jacket or coat on. Waistcoats were fashionable and daily wear for men of this time. Both sleeveless and sleeved waistcoats are correct.

Weskit "Das Kamisol": Made of white linen in the 1770's style is the primary weskit used for the summer uniform while weskits of hunter green wool is generally used for winter wear. Both the summer and winter weskit typically have pockets but is not a requirement. Weskits of other colors and materials may be used as an option but should be of the 1770's style.

Our unit chooses to follow these guidelines, as they seem the most likely conclusions based on primary documents. It should be noted however, that we are choosing to wear the Light Infantry pattern weskit that was approved by the King in 1771.

The pronunciation given for the word falcon by eighteenth-century authorities ... of words with their actual spelling: waistcoat (formerly pronounced “weskit”),

 (we are talking about a country where “breeches” is pronounced “britches” and “waistcoat” is “weskit”).

 "Waistcoat" used to be pronounced /'wEskIt/. ...... end of the 18th Century and regarded as a foreign word down to the middle of the 19th.

A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLISH SPELLING Table 2.2 Some recent spelling-pronunciations Spelling Old pronunciation New pronunciation again / e en/ (a-genn) / e e n/ (a-gain) conduit / k nd t/ (kundit) / kndw t/ (kondwit) forehead / fr d/ (forrid) / f c :hed/ (forhedd) nephew / nevju:/ (nev-yoo) / nefju:/ (neff-yoo) often / fn/ (off’n) / ft e n/ (offt’n) waistcoat / wesk t/ (weskit) / we sk e t/ (waisscoat)

   b. A short garment worn beneath the coat or jacket as a usual part of male attire; a waistcoat. 
1666   S. Pepys Diary 8 Oct. (1972) VII. 315   The King hath yesterday in council, declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes... It will be a vest, I know not well how. But it is to teach the nobility thrift.
1666   S. Pepys Diary 15 Oct. (1972) VII. 324   This day the King begins to put on his Vest..being a long Cassocke close to the body, of black cloth and pinked with white silk under it, and a coat over it, and the legs ruffled with black riband like a pigeon's leg.

 So, it seems that the word or term "weskit" may well be 18th century, BUT, it was a pronunciation, NOT a written word to describe a waistcoat or vest.

1 comment:

John Wooldridge said...

Tis far better to admit mistakes and to learn from such than to blindly believe you are always correct my friend.