sans-culottes

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sansculotte in the French Revolution, a republican of the poorer classes in Paris. XVIII. — F., f. sans without + culotte knee-breeches; usu. taken to mean lit. ‘one who wears trousers (pantalon), not knee-breeches’.

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sansculotte a lower-class Parisian republican in the French Revolution; the name, meaning literally ‘without knee-breeches’, is usually explained as someone wearing trousers as opposed to knee-breeches. The term is first recorded in English in the Annual Register for 1790.

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