petrusplancius (petrusplancius) wrote in unusual_words,


I came across this in an anthology of bad verse, an extract from 'The Bride's Prelude' by D.G. Rossetti:

Against the haloed lattice-pains
The bridesmaid sunned her breast;
Then to the glass turned tall and free,
And braced and shifted daintily
Her loin-belt through her coat-hardie.

Can't you just picture it? According to the OED a cote-hardie or coat-hardy is 'a close-fitting garment with sleeves, formerly worn by both sexes'; apparently buttoned down the front and reaching to mid-thigh. Doubtless to be found in Pre-Raphaelite paintings of yearnful maidens.
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'a close-fitting garment with sleeves, formerly worn by both sexes'

so the cote-hardie covers the coochie coochie?

time for a limerick!!
Perhaps a limerick is the only suitable place for the word!
Plenty of historic recreationists make and wear cote-hardies without irony.
But isn't historical recreation more fun if it is marked by a touch of irony?
Yeah, I think that's why they have internecine feuds in the lands of make-believe.
I think women's cotehardies were usually longer, ankle-length or so. In this context, i.e. worn over the belt, I'd assume it was referring to an open, warm-weather layer worn over a lighter, belted cotehardie or kirtle (which in turn was worn over a shift). But in that case it might better be referred to as a surcote.
Yes, I would picture a women's one as being longer.
Correction: I meant a warm layer for cold weather.