Word Origin & History

"garter worn over trousers," 1911, from Scot., from shortened form of knickers + Scot. & northern Eng. dial taum, from O.N. taumr "cord, rein, line," cognate with O.E. team (see team). Originally a string tied by Scot. farmers around rolled-up trousers to keep the legs of them out of the dirt.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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