smock O.E. smoc "woman's garment," from P.Gmc. *smukkaz (Cf. O.N. smokkr, but this is perhaps from O.E., O.H.G. smoccho "smock," a rare word, N.Fris. smok, but this, too, perhaps from English), from PIE root *smeugh- "to press" (Cf. O.C.S. smykati se "to creep"). Original notion seems to be "garment one creeps into," as the word is related to O.N. smjuga "to creep into (a garment)" and O.E. smugan "to creep" and smygel "a burrow." Cf. also Ger. schmiegen "to cling to, to press close, nestle," hence M.H.G. verb smucken, Ger. schmucken "to adorn."
English smock was common down to 18c., and was emblematic of womanhood generally, Cf. verb smock "to render (a man) effeminate or womanish" (1610s); smock-face "person having a pale, effeminate face" (c.1600). Replaced by euphemistic SHIFT (Cf. shift) (n.2). Modern meaning "woman's or child's loose dress or blouse" is from 1907; sense of "loose garment worn by artists over other clothes" is from 1938.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • smock — [smɔk US sma:k] n [: Old English; Origin: smoc] 1.) a long, loose shirt or a loose dress 2.) a loose piece of clothing worn by artists or other workers to protect their other clothing …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • smock — [ smak ] noun count BRITISH a long loose shirt for women a. a long loose shirt worn over ordinary clothes to keep them clean …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • smock — ► NOUN 1) a loose dress or blouse having the upper part closely gathered in smocking. 2) a loose overall worn to protect one s clothes. ► VERB ▪ decorate with smocking. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • smock — 1. noun a) A womans undergarment; a shift; a chemise. In her smock, with head and foot all bare. . b) A blouse. 2. adjective …   Wiktionary

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