I know, I know. This seems like a strange choice of word for me to look up. 😉 But I had a moment last week when I was wondering how long the garden-hose type of thing had been in use, so I looked it up. As I do. And then was kind of amazed by the answer!

Hose first meant “a covering for the legs.” As early as the 13th century, hose were a common article of clothing, especially for men. They could be woven or of leather, have feet or not. We know them today as tights or leggings, but those hose of old would have been much thicker than the nylons some women still wear (though I usually eschew them, LOL).

In the Middle Ages, the word began to be applied to other things that resembled a stocking, like a sheath or a husk of a grain. So where did the garden-hose sense of things come in? And why?
The etymology site doesn’t explain the “why” clearly, but it did mention that one of the roots of the word–the Dutch hoos–not only meant “leg covering” but “waterspout.” I wonder if this dual meaning had something to do with the additional meaning the word gained in English.
Regardless a “flexible rubber tube used to convey liquid” has been around since the mid 1300s! I had no idea it was that old. Hence why I had to share. 😉

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