Happy Monday from Colonial Williamsburg! It’s Homeschool Days down in CW, so my family and I are here on a 2-day pass. Yesterday we had great fun visiting many of the trade shops and enjoying the early spring weather and flowers (daffodils! In February!).

And it’s from one of these trade shops that I got the inspiration for this week’s word.

We visited the milliner and mantua maker just before lunch yesterday and had a lovely time chatting with the ladies who make the dresses and hats (I know just enough to know what questions to ask, as my hubby pointed out). One of things they showed us was an 18th century clout–the word at the time for a diaper.

As she showed us the clout, she pointed out that diaper was in fact the name for the sturdy weave of cloth they used in the clout (under the cover) originally (similar to the image I use above, though that’s just a digital pattern). Diaper signified a very tight, patterned weave that is far more absorbent, as it happens, then a normal weave. The word itself comes from Latin originally–dia meaning “thoroughly” and aspros eventually meaning “white” but first meaning something more like “textured” or “rough.”

The word began to be used to for the clout itself, rather than the pattern, by the 1830s.

I know, I know–I spent two days in Colonial Williamsburg and talk to you about diapers, LOL. Just goes to show that you never know what might impress me when it comes to words. 😉


Don’t forget that today begins the 40 Days of Jesus Bible study! If you’re going to be reading along, start today with the first chapter of the Gospel of John.

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