KANSAS CITY, Mo. — PJ’s, pajamas, jammies. You wear them — or, at least, it’s what you call your sleepwear. But did you know pajamas are specifically defined as “night clothes consisting of loose-fitting trousers and jacket”?
Who likes to sleep in a jacket?
The first people to wear pajamas according to Dictionary.com were men and women in Turkey, Iran and India. The word “pajama” stems from the Persian word pae — meaning ‘leg’ — and jamah, meaning ‘clothing garment’.
Europeans later adopted the idea of wearing pajamas as nightwear, calling them a variety of names including pai jamahs, pigammahs and piejamahs. Today, people in the UK call them pyjamas.
But here in the states we call them pajamas. And a little known fact about them is that they originated as “loose drawers or pants that were tied at the waist” — therefore the terms pajama pants or pajama bottoms are redundant.
Also, calling them a pajama outfit is just plain absurd. Last week on FOX’s hit show New Girl this was clearly addressed during a pother (today’s Dictionary word of the day, thank you very much) between Nick and Jess. See video below.
And that’s a brief history of pajamas.
But, wait, there’s more! The proper way to spell PJ’s is with the apostrophe, which is different from other versions of plural words like DVDs, CDs, 70s, 80s, 90s, for example.
And, finally, one unimportant side note: one of my FOX 4 colleagues likes to call them snooze trousers, however this excludes the top “jacket” portion of the jammies combo, and one shall not discriminate, so what possibly could the top be called? Leave your suggestion in the comment section below. :)