The number of people who don’t know what dungarees are is astonishing to me. This is what it is to grow old.
When I was a kid living in Baltimore, Maryland, the things that the Earth now knows as “jeans,” were marketed as “dungarees.” The venerable H.D. Lee Mercantile Company sold dungarees, not jeans. When I was a teenager, “blue jeans” entered the vocabulary. In my part of the world, these were understood to be those denim coverings for the lower limbs made and marketed by the company founded by Mr. Levi Strauss, aka “levis.”
After some more time had passed, Fashion decided that it was missing a bet. Since everyone was wearing blue jeans, or levis (but hardly anybody was wearing dungarees, because, I dunno, it was too hard to say? and had fallen out of use), they would adapt the denim limb coverings, make them useless and expensive and christen them “jeans.”
My recent purchase of a pair of dungarees from the Carthartt Company was whimsical, in part — I hadn’t seen dungaree used for many, many years, and was pleased that it had not been forgotten entirely.
But, as the internet proves — the word had been forgotten entirely; gone the way of the Tasmanian Wolf and the Dodo; and recalled by only a few dinosaurs.
Those who wish to believe that dungarees are bib overalls, or coveralls, or simply overalls — carry on. I can’t stop you, after all.
This is, honest, my Last Word on the subject.