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What are togs?

May 28, 2020

This afternoon my son was supposed to be going for a socially distanced bike ride with his cousin, but it got to 1.30 pm and he was still slobbing around in his pyjamas. So I said to him, ‘Fred, why don’t you get your togs on?’

He stared blankly and said: ‘What are togs?’

The kids of today, eh? They don’t know the meaning of the word togs. But it then occurred to me that I myself hadn’t heard or used this word for years, if not decades. It has slyly slid into obsolescence without my noticing. Let’s all start using it again. Maybe if we work together we can resurrect this lovely word.

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One Comment
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Togs, I believe, originated as a word for cloak, coming from toga.
    Some others which used to be heard more frequently: clobber, glad rags, threads and the ubiquitous schmatte (usually a lovely bit of…) which also gave us Smother meaning an overcoat.
    An expression I remember used by people who had a run in with “The Law” was that they’d been “fitted up like a toff at Tommy Nutter” which won’t mean anything to anyone under a certain age.

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