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plimsoll

[plim-suh l, -sohl] /ˈplɪm səl, -soʊl/
noun, British
1.
a canvas shoe with a rubber sole; gym shoe; sneaker.
Also, plimsol, plimsole.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; perhaps so called from fancied resemblance of the sole to a Plimsoll mark
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for plimsoll

plimsoll

/ˈplɪmsəl/
noun
1.
(Brit) a light rubber-soled canvas shoe worn for various sports Also called gym shoe, sandshoe
Word Origin
C20: so called because of the resemblance of the rubber sole to a Plimsoll line
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for plimsoll

Plimsoll

n.

"mark on the hull of a British ship showing how deeply she may be loaded," 1881, from Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898), M.P. for Derby and advocate of shipping reforms (which were embodied in the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876). Sense extended 1907 to "rubber-soled canvas shoe" (equivalent of American English sneakers) because the band around the shoes that holds the two parts together reminded people of a ship's Plimsoll line; sense perhaps reinforced by sound association with sole (which sometimes influenced the spelling to plimsole). The name is of Huguenot origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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