pet form of masc. proper names Edward
, and Theodore
; meaning "women's undergarment" (with lower-case t-
) is recorded from 1924, of unknown origin, perhaps from some fancied resemblance to a teddy bear
(q.v.), a theory that dates to 1929. In British slang phrase teddy boy
(1954) it is short for Edward
, from the preference of such youths for Edwardian styles (1901-10). Teddies
(probably from Teddy Roosevelt) was one of the names given to U.S. troops in France in 1917.