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diaper

noun; other word formation type semantic change via metaphor
A pad a woman wears while she is menstruating. Speakers originally used “diaper” to refer to the type of underwear that allows individuals, specifically infants, to urinate and defecate in a discreet way. Female speakers eventually created and adopted a new definition of diaper to metaphorically refer to a pad. A pad resembles a diaper in shape and material, and it also functions similarly to a diaper. This new term also is a euphemism because it allows women to communicate with one another about pads without openly announcing to outsiders that they are on their menstrual period.
 
I ran out of tampons, so I’m wearing a diaper today.
Etymology : Diaper from Old French ‘diaspre’ meaning flowered, patterned silk cloth
Source : Conversation between two close friends of mine. September 20, 2013
Last modified: 21 November 2013


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