Who’d have thought that the word for our cosy night clothes came all the way from East Asia? The word pyjamas derives from the Persian and Urdū pāë, meaning foot or leg, and jāmah meaning clothing. The somewhat dated OED definition describes the word as ‘loose drawers or trousers, usually of silk or cotton, tied round the waist, worn by both sexes in Turkey, Iran, India, etc., and adopted by Europeans in those countries, especially for night wear; hence applied outside Asia’.
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