Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Chaps - Cowboys Need Protection Too

A mounted cowboy wearing stout leather chaps
A cowboy sporting a fine pair of chaps
Lithograph by Frederick Remington from 1901


Noun plural. North American. Late 19th century.
[Abbreviation of CHAPAREJOS Mexican Spanish chaparreras, from chaparra. Later form -ejos probably influenced by Spanish aparejo equipment.]

Stout protective trousers for cowboys etc.

If you've ever wondered where chaps came from (and what cheeky chap hasn't?), they're rooted in cowboy culture, the word being an abbreviation of chaparejos, a Mexican-Spanish word blended from chaparreras, meaning 'thicket', and aparejo, meaning 'equipment' or 'gear'. Bronco riding and cattle rustling is tough work, and even tougher on your clothes, so a sturdy pair of leather chaps is just the ticket for keeping that pair of Levis looking brand-spanking-new

Do please leave your cheekiest comments in the box below.


  1. I believe they also prevent chafing in the inner thighs when riding a lot.
    They sounds owie doesn't it!

    1. Many a Wild West gunslinger lost a duel due to being distracted by chafed thighs, Jingles ... owie and lethal.