tuxedo (n.)

man's evening dress for semiformal occasions, 1889, named for Tuxedo Park, N.Y., a rural resort development for wealthy New Yorkers and site of a country club where it first was worn, supposedly in 1886. The name is an attractive subject for elaborate speculation, and connections with Algonquian words for "bear" or "wolf" were proposed. The authoritative Bright, however, says the tribe's name probably is originally a place name, perhaps Munsee Delaware (Algonquian) p'tuck-sepo "crooked river."
There was a hue and cry raised against the Tuxedo coat upon its first appearance because it was erroneously considered and widely written of as intended to displace the swallow tail. When the true import of the tailless dress coat came to be realized it was accepted promptly by swelldom, and now is widely recognized as one of the staple adjuncts of the jeunesse dorée. ["Clothier and Furnisher," August, 1889]

Share