The protective garment was once known as
a "napron." from the French "naperon"
which in modern French means
a napkin. However there was a
process in English of the "n" moving
from the article "an" to the noun
and "a napron" became "an apron."
I find that etymological fact both pleasing and amusing, so I thought I'd share it with you. It also gives me an excuse to show you a collection of vintage aprons/naprons/pinnies or what you will, which have come into my possession (long story far too complicated to bore you all with here).
They were a bit grubby, so I flung them in the washing machine . . . and here comes a word of warning, a lesson I have learnt and will now pass on my wisdom to you: if you wash ten aprons together the strings form a knot of amazing complexity!
Once I had untangled them (and this took a while)
I hung them up to dry . . .
I think some were bought, others home-made; the fabrics look as though they date from the 1960s and 1970s. Here's a gallery of the designs . . . aren't they jolly! Some need a few stitches here and there, then I'll have to decide what to do with them.
By the way, there are other "n" words that by a process called junctural metanalysis became transformed into the English words we use today: a nadder became an adder; a nauger became an auger; a numpire became an umpire and a norange became an orange*.
Here endeth today's lesson.
*I admit that the evidence for "a norange" is a tad hazy – however it does come from the Arabic – "nāranj"