Why Is Underwear Called Drawers? [See The Reason]

Do you wonder why underwear is called drawers? If yes, the answer is right before you.

Underwear, or undergarment as people call it, helps to support and protect the male or female parts and improve the overall outlook of the user. 

In this guide, I’ll explain where the term ‘drawers’ originated from and other fun names you can use in place of underwear.

What are drawers in underwear?

Drawers are a type of underwear that covers the lower half of the body.

They are made from a light, breathable fabric such as cotton or linen and have a waistband that goes around the hips.

Drawers provide comfort and coverage and were popular during the Victorian era. Back then, men and women wore it as a base layer under other clothing.

SEE: Here Are The Reasons Why Underwear Are Important

Drawers underwear pronunciation

The word “drawers” can be pronounced in a few different ways. The most common pronunciation is “drah-wers,” but it can also be pronounced like “draw-ers” or “drar-ers.”

The word typically refers to a type of underwear, but it can also refer to any type of drawer (a piece of furniture with space for storing things).

Why are men’s underwear called drawers?

As far back as the 16th century, men’s underwear, including pants and stockings, were called drawers because they were ​​often made out of a light, airy fabric like linen, which was easy to fold or “draw up.”

However, there’s more to the story. The underpants also had two separate legs, each with its opening. And men had to draw it up both legs and tie it securely around the waist.

This brought about the term drawers and the phrase ‘pair of underwear’ as we know it today. Back then, it was called pair of drawers for this same reason. 

Victorian drawers underwear meaning

why is underwear called drawers

Today, drawers are more commonly known as underwear. In the Victorian era, they were an essential article of clothing for both men and women and served to protect the modesty of both sexes.

For women, drawers usually reached just below the knee and were often decorated with frills or lace. For men, drawers extended to the mid-calf and were usually made of sturdy cotton fabric.

Drawers were made of linen or cotton; women wore them under a skirt or dress, and men drew them up under their trousers. In the Victorian era, it was considered scandalous for a woman to show even an inch of her leg in public.

As a result, drawers served as an important safeguard against indecent exposure. Despite their utility, drawers were not always comfortable to wear. They could be binding and constricting, particularly for women who had to wear them daily.

Drawers fell out of fashion in the early 20th century as hemlines began to rise and underwear became more revealing, sexy, and practical. 

Why are pants called drawers?

There are a few possible explanations. One theory is that the name derives from the fact that pants are often stored in a drawer (a type of low, flat piece of furniture with drawers).

At that time, many women wore long dresses with multiple layers, as they weren’t allowed to show off their skin.

To keep their underwear from being seen, they would tuck it into a drawer or other hidden places. Over time, people used the term “drawers,” specifically for underwear.

Another is that the name is a corruption of the word “breeches,” which was used to describe a type of close-fitting legwear that was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

It’s also common knowledge that the name simply comes from the fact that pants are something that you “draw on” or put on your body. However, it’s clear that pants have been an important part of women’s undergarments.

SEE: Lookout for These Things When You Buy Perfume for Women

Other cool words that mean underwear

1. Unmentionables

It refers to undergarments that people consider too personal or embarrassing to mention in public.

2. Smalls

A general term used to describe various types of underwear, including panties, bras, and undershirts.

3. Drawers

Another word for underwear. It originates from British English.

4. Foundation garments

A term used to describe undergarments that provide support, such as bras and girdles.

5. Underthings

A general term used to describe various items of underwear, including panties, bras, and undershirts.

6. Smallclothes

Another word for underwear, especially in British English.

7. Hosiery

A term used to describe undergarments that cover the legs, such as pantyhose and tights.

8. Intimates

A term used to describe undergarments designed to be worn close to the body, such as panties and bras.

9. Garments

A general term that can describe any type of clothing, including underwear.

10. Apparel

Another general term fashionistas use to describe any type of clothing, including underwear.

11. Necessaries

Refers to undergarments that people consider to be essential.

12. Underclothes

A general term used to describe various types of underwear, including panties, bras, and undershirts.

13. Lingerie

A term used to describe undergarments that are sexy or romantic.

SEE: What Is The Smallest Cup Size Of Bras For Women?

11. Union suits

A type of one-piece underwear that covers the entire body.

12. Bloomers

A type of women’s underwear that is designed to cover the legs.

13. Briefs

These are a type of close-fitting underwear that cover the buttocks and part of the thighs. People sometimes refer to them as “tighty-whities” in North America.

14. Boxers

Boxers are a type of loose-fitting underwear that come in either shorts or longs. They’re named after the boxing shorts worn by professional boxers.

15. Trunks

Trunks are a type of underwear similar to briefs but have a shorter leg length. People sometimes call them “boxer briefs.”

16. Y-fronts

Y-fronts are a type of close-fitting underwear that has a Y-shaped front opening.

17. Bikinis

Bikinis are a type of close-fitting underwear that have a low waistline and high leg cut.

18. Thongs

Thongs are a type of underwear with a strip of fabric at the back that goes between the buttocks.

19. G-strings

G-strings are a type of thong that has a very small strip of fabric at the back.

20. Hipsters

Hipsters are a type of close-fitting underwear that sits low on the hips.

21. Boyshorts

Boyshorts are a type of women’s underwear that closely resemble men’s boxer shorts.

22. Long johns

Long johns are a type of underwear that comes from a cotton or wool blend fabric. They are in two pieces (tops and bottoms), and people wear them under other clothes to keep warm.

SEE: The Full List Of Bra Cup Sizes From Smallest To Biggest


What do drawers mean in slang?

Stockings, pants, and underpants. Drawers are another name for underwear and were a major undergarment in the Victorian era.

Is it drawer or drawers?

It’s drawers. Drawer, on the other hand, is more likely to refer to the box-shaped storage for underwear and basic necessities.

What do Americans call their underwear?

Underpants. They mean the same thing as drawers and underwear.

What do men call their underwear?

Briefs, boxer shorts, and trunks. These are some of the names men call their underwear.


There are different types of underwear, each with its own unique features. Drawers are one type of underwear that provides extra coverage and support. While they may not be the most stylish option, they are a practical choice for anyone who fancies it.

Besides, as people used to know them in the victorian age, drawers have evolved drastically to fit today’s fashion and style.

Thanks for reading.

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