- smock (n.)
- Old English smoc "woman's garment," from Proto-Germanic *smukkaz (cf. Old Norse smokkr, but this is perhaps from Old English, Old High German smoccho "smock," a rare word, North Frisian smok, but this, too, perhaps from English), from PIE root *smeugh- "to press" (cf. Old Church Slavonic smykati se "to creep"). Original notion seems to be "garment one creeps into," as the word is related to Old Norse smjuga "to creep into (a garment)" and Old English smugan "to creep" and smygel "a burrow." Cf. also German schmiegen "to cling to, to press close, nestle," hence Middle High German verb smucken, German 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 (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.