Mysteries of vernacular: Pants - Jessica Oreck
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Commedia dell'Arte, also known as "Italian comedy," was a humorous theatrical presentation performed by professional players who traveled in troupes throughout Italy in the 16th century. Performances took place on temporary stages, mostly on city streets, but occasionally even in court venues. The better troupes—notably Gelosi, Confidenti, and Fedeli—performed in palaces and became internationally famous once they traveled abroad. Music, dance, witty dialogue, and all kinds of chicanery contributed to the comic effects.
Trousers are an item of clothing worn from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately (rather than with cloth stretching across both as in skirts and dresses). The word trousers is used in the UK and Ireland, but some other English-speaking countries such as Canada, South Africa, and the United States often refer to such items of clothing as pants, a shortening of the historic term pantaloons. Australia is known to differentiate between pants and trousers. Shorts are similar to trousers, but with legs that come down only to around the area of the knee, higher or lower than the knee depending on the style of the garment.
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