Corduroy Cowboy

January 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

This 12-wale corduroy shirt is yet another one of those “too-short” shirts from middle school. It must go.

But have you ever pondered the fabric before? It’s a little bizarre in texture and name. The word corduroy combines the visual of the textile, cord, and combines it the obsolete duroy, a coarse woollen fabric. I bet you’ve never heard someone yell over their shoulder, “check out those duroys she has on.” I’m not insinuating that you don’t have great threads or an amazing butt. The word just hasn’t been in vogue since, well, ever.

I don’t know what it is about corduroy, but it reminds me of western movies. There’s absolutely nothing to warrant that considering the fabrics alternate names: corded velveteen, elephant cord, pin cord and Manchester cloth, all of which are extraordinarily European sounding. It’s a fact that corduroy was originally made in Western England. So what gives?

Now I know I’ve heard the phrase ‘corduroy cowboy’ before. But maybe I was thinking of it in the wrong way.

As it turns out, I perused my Compact Oxford English Dictionary and the word can be used as a verb which sounds exactly like what John Wayne would have done: to make a road across a swamp.

So hats off to all those corduroy cowboys out there. I never knew you existed.


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