Underwear: Why "Jockey" Shorts?

Who knows of the origin of the name Jockey Shorts? Were jockeys actually the first to wear them?

They’re manufactured by a company named “Jockey.”

They’re manufactured by a company named “Jockey.”

The same thing happened with “BVD.”

According to their website:

They were founded by a Wisconsin preacher as T.S. Cooper & Sons, selling socks to lumberjacks. It’s actually an interesting read…

Thanks, JJ. It’s nice to see that there are still some who can read life’s deeper meanings.

As for you, Chuck, don’t be so literal. As JJ no doubt inferred, the name Jockey shorts implies that the word jockey is meant to be an adjective that modifies the noun shorts, and not just the name of the brand, though it is that as well. You never hear of BVD shorts, Fruit-of-the-Loom shorts, etc.

In fact, hereabouts I never hear the word shorts used to mean underwear unless preceded by the word Jockey. And in those cases the specific brand is usually meant.

Interesting history. I had always assumed that they referred to the type of undergarment worn by dimunitive horse-racers. (I assume that boxer shorts are named after the trunks typically worn by pugilists, which they resemble).

Does anyone know what actual jockeys wear under their silks (Julie Crone excepted)?

I don’t want to take undeserved credit here. I went looking for the Jockey Inc. website first, because I figured the shorts were named for the company and I wanted to find out why the company was named Jockey. Only upon research did I find that the company was named after the shorts, not the other way around.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, BVD is the initials of the founders of that company, Bradley, Voorhees, and Day.

I now know more about underwear than I ever wanted to know…