Posted by Patricia Bingham on November 14, 1997 at 02:15:55:
In response to Try this one for size.........., written by Caroline on October 20, 1997 at 21:59:47
Men have used handkerchiefs for quite some time (how long-don't ask me that) They used them for exactly what they are used for today, for wiping noses, tears, etc. The handkerchief was square and the material fragile, so perhaps the ladies called their little frilly neck things a handkercief for lack of a better word, even though those frilly fichus or handkerchiefs were much larger.
Could calling it a handkerchief be the forerunner of calling it a scarf?
As far as ladies wiping noses... It would not be very lady-like for a lady to blow her nose today... I certainly would be embarassed to. It's a noisy, private thing. Wiping tears is a whole other story. I doubt it was all that different then.
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