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blacks

noun; zero derivation
an outfit worn by a backstage crew member during a rehearsal or performance in theatre that is entirely black. This word, although a clipping of the phrase “stage blacks” is more accurately described as zero derivation. This is because the existing word “black” has undergone a change in meaning to mean black clothing. It is a term used almost primarily in theatre and entertainment settings among technical staff. This word is also an example of metonymy. A feature of the outfit, the color, is used to represent the whole outfit. Another feature of this word is that it is only used in its plural form.
 
Wear your blacks for the dress rehearsal tonight.
Etymology : zero derivation form of the existing word “black”
Source : a stage manager I worked for
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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