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A pair of low-heeled slippers.

A slipper or houseshoe is an semi-closed type of indoor footwear, consisting of a sole held to the wearer's foot by a strap running over (or between) the toes or instep.[1] Slippers are soft and lightweight compared to other types of footwear.

Contents

Domestic

The word is recorded in English in 1478, deriving from the older verb to slip, the notion being of footwear that is "slipped" onto the foot.

Slippers may be shaped like a normal shoe (foot inserted through top), or may have no heel, so the foot can be slipped in the back. They now come in many colourful designs – cartoon characters, patterns and animals are often used to decorate this type of footwear.

The traditional British slipper of the Victorian era is the Albert slipper, named after Prince Albert, and is a velvet slipper with plain leather sole and quilted silk lining. It is worn about the house, particularly with black tie or white tie, but in modern or fashionable use is worn sometimes outside in informal settings.

In Japan, one type of the latest fashion of slipper is fluffy clogs evolved from those made during the Meiji period (1868 to 1912). The Japanese were accustomed to taking off their shoes before entering their homes and donning slippers at the threshold—this was not the case for western cultures, where customs regarding domesticity differed and slippers were mainly worn by a home's residents in the evening. For the Japanese it was problematic for foreigners who did not know or follow their customs to enter homes with their shoes on. Thus, special slippers were made   for the foreigners to pull over their shoes in order to keep the indoors sanitary. Such slippers are in widespread use in Japan today by citizenry and gaijin alike.   Toilet slippers (トイレスリッパ toire surippa ?) provide further demarcation between areas considered clean and unclean within the household itself...

Slippers also evolved much earlier in India. A Southern Song dynasty officer Zhou Qu Fei (1135–1189) stationed in Guangxi province of China, described two types of slippers he saw in Jiaozhi (now Vietnam) in his 1178 book Ling Wai Dai Da; both types of slippers had leather bottom, one type has a small post about an inch long with a mushroom shape top up front, people wore this slipper by holding the post between their toes; another type of slipper had a cross-shaped leather cover across the top of the leather bottom. Zhou noted that these slipper looked exactly like the slippers on the feet of arhats in some paintings.[2] He noted further that the people of Kulam in Southern India wore a kind of red slipper which looked exactly like the slipper of arhats in painting.[3]

Nicknames

In Scotland, especially on the east coast, they are often called "baffies". This is thought to derive from the Scots word 'bachle' meaning to shuffle. It is commonly referred to in the Pollok area of Glasgow as a Dan Dipper, and has been the most common Christmas present in that region for many years, often purchased in bulk.

The fictional character Cinderella is said to have worn glass slippers; in modern parlance they would probably be called glass high heels.

Derek "The Slipper Man" Fan holds the Guinness World Records record for wearing a pair of dress slippers for 23 years straight as of June 30, 2007.

References

  1. ^ Attachment of sole to foot
  2. ^ Zhou Qu Fei: Ling Wai Dai Da, Vol 6, section 106" Leather slippers ISBN 7101016650
  3. ^ Zhou Qu Fei: Ling Wai Dai Da, vol 2 section 37 :Kulam ISBN 7101016650

See also








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