In the late 1880s, something scandalous occurred in the village of Tuxedo Park, New York- some young hooligans started wearing tailcoats without the tails! This was to get around the strict dress codes at the swanky country clubs while still looking formal. The fashion caught on quickly, and within years, much of the American elite began wearing tuxedos. All this was despite a strict conservative backlash by people who feared the decline of tailed coats. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, onward! The tuxedo part of Tuxedo Park is definitely native American in origin, from the Algonquian family. However, different theories have been proposed. Some believe it to be from Munsee p'tuksepo, meaning "crooked river", others espouse the Lenape word tucseto, meaning "place of the bear", and still more draw connections to "wolves" and "flowing water". To this day, the tuxedo is controversial, it appears!
Adam Aleksic is a 221-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd