Breeches are short trousers that extend to or below the knee. When speaking informally, breeches is a term that may refer to any trousers. Breeches is a plural noun, the preferred pronunciation is BRIchiz. The word breeches appears around 1200, it comes from the Old English word brec, the plural of broc, meaning a garment for the legs and trunk. Breeches cover a person’s posterior, the word breech has come to refer to a baby trying to emerge from the womb posterior first, and the part of a gun behind the bore.
Britches are also short trousers that extend to or below the knee, but when speaking informally, britches is a term that may refer to any trousers. Britches is a plural noun, the preferred pronunciation is also BRIchiz. Britches first came into use in 1571, it is an alternate spelling of breeches, and also, a less formal spelling.
On Broadway, African-American and Latino actors attired in the breeches, boots, and waistcoats of the Revolutionary War period are portraying the Founding Fathers — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton — in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,’’ a critically acclaimed hip-hop musical whose audience last month included President Obama. (The Boston Globe)
A tripod-wielding camera buff in boots and riding breeches — proper togs for an auteur back then — is our hallucinatory creative Everyman. (The Financial Times)
Of course, it still looks like baseball, except for the frequently striped bats and the Civil War-era uniforms – including long pants instead of knee britches like modern players wear. (The Murfreesboro Post)
Johnny Vegas Syndrome sets in when one’s britches are a little too big for them, and usually appears as one continues to taste (and soon expect) success. (The Huffington Post)
Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered:
- Bobble vs. Bauble
- Bode vs. Bowed
- Booze vs. Boos