A Shirt is a Shoit*


It’s obviously not some earth-shattering or novel idea that words shift in meaning or usage over time, but this one has always seemed a bit odd to me: people use the term “button down” to refer to any men’s shirt with buttons. But traditionally, “button down” refers to the collar. A shirt with buttons on it is a “button up.” Or, you know, a “shirt.” As opposed to something like a “t-shirt.” This is bit similar to the phrase “gin martini” which I would like to believe is redundant, but might not be anymore.

Here’s someone who cares about this more than me.

*“I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte. He also called his shirt a shoit.” -Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest.


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