Galoshes! Who Gets Naming Rights for Footwear?

The answer is: a conquering imperial army. But don’t expect much creativity.


Galoshes, also known as gumboots, rubbers or Wellington boots. Photo by Mac_NZ.

Galoshes are waterproof footwear for wet or muddy conditions. You either wear them over your standard shoes or instead of shoes, depending on which way you roll. The word is a derivation of the French ‘galoche’, which in turn is a derivation of the Latin ‘gallicula’, which means ‘small Gallic (French) shoe’.

The reference dates back to Roman occupation of France; the Romans adopted a local style of wearing shoes or boots with an ornately carved wooden heel and sole. ‘Gallicula’ is an acknowledgement of the origins of the footwear. The French retained a variant of the Latin word, although over time it has evolved as much as galoshes themselves.

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