No Synonym For The Verb "Don"?

It means “to get dressed”, I know, but in just about every novel I read (and I read a lot), I see this word being used and always thought it was a stilted way of saying “he put his clothes on”, but now I’m not so sure, because I cannot find a substitute word to replace it.

I just can’t see my wife telling me to be sure to “don” my coat because it’s cold outside.:slight_smile:

So anyone know of a word that can replace “don”?



‘Put on’ would be the most common, since it’s not just ‘getting dressed’, it’s putting on something specific. (Or, specified as unspecific ‘donned his outdoor clothes’, for example.)

One dons a costume, or an identity. It implies a conscious change of appearance. To don the garb of another… or something specific.

Can you imagine the laugh you’d get if you stopped at a real romantic part of love making, saying “'Scuse me, honey. Gotta don the condom.”?:slight_smile:

Yeah, I’d have to go with “put on” as well. That seems the only other alternative.



No, you exxxtrudeeee the condom…

Don is a great word, and so is its counterpart doff.

To me they connote garments that require some buckling or lacing or adjusting–some “doing” to do-on or do-off.

“Put on” or just “wear”. Are you reading a lot of fantasy or romance novels?

No. Murder mysteries, horror and historical fiction are my choices.

I did read LOTR. I guess that’s in the fantasy genre?

Romance novels? Come on, I mean really. Can you give me at least some credit, jack? :wink:

My point was that “don” isn’t a word we’d use in our daily lives, but it seems like it HAS to be used in literature.

“He put on his cap” works.

“Wear” only fits in the present tense, doesn’t it? “I think I’ll wear the blue suit today”, he said. That works as well.

The word “don” just always pulls me up short, I guess.



“Don” is actually a contraction, for “do on,” just like doff is a contraction for “do off.” Very archaic form of speech which almost vanished, until they were both rescued by Sir Walter Scott.

This according to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

Don doobie-doo don don, comma, comma
Don doobie-doo don don, comma, comma
Don doobie-doo don don
Getting dressed is hard to do

You can always make up something, like vestate or attirize. I figure if Shakespeare did it, he was just demonstrating to the rest of us that it was an acceptable practice.