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1550s, from Middle French verdugale, from Spanish verdugado "hooped, hooped skirt," from verdugo "rod, stick, young shoot of a tree," from verde "green," from Latin viridis (see verdure). Originally made from cane hoops or rods.
underskirt expanded by a series of circular hoops that increase in diameter from the waist down to the hem and are sewn into the underskirt to make it rigid. The fashion spread from Spain to the rest of Europe from 1545 onward. The frame could be made of whalebone, wood, or wire. The shape was first domed, coned, or bell-like; later it became more like a tub or drum. The fashion persisted in most European courts until 1620, with variations such as the French farthingale-which descended from a round padded bolster-and the Italian, or wheel, farthingale-which tilted upward at the back.