slip1 / slip/ • v. (slipped , slip·ping ) 1. [intr.] (of a person or animal) slide unintentionally for a short distance, typically losing one's balance or footing: I slipped on the ice he kept slipping in the mud. ∎ (of a thing) accidentally slide or move out of position or from someone's grasp: the envelope slipped through Luke's fingers a wisp of hair had slipped down over her face. ∎ fail to grip or make proper contact with a surface: the front wheels began to slip | [as adj.] (slipping) a badly slipping clutch. ∎ go or move quietly or quickly, without attracting notice: we slipped out by a back door. ∎ pass or change to a lower, worse, or different condition, typically in a gradual or imperceptible way: many people feel standards have slipped| profits slipped 31 percent. ∎ (be slipping) inf. be behaving in a way that is not up to one's usual level of performance: you're slipping, Joe—you need a vacation. ∎ (slip away/by) (of time) elapse: the night was slipping away. ∎ [tr.] put (something) in a particular place or position quietly, quickly, or stealthily: she slipped the map into her pocket| I slipped him a ten-spot to keep quiet. ∎ (slip into/out of) put on or take off (a garment) quickly and easily. ∎ (slip something in) insert a remark smoothly or adroitly into a conversation. 2. [tr.] escape or get loose from (a means of restraint): the giant balloon slipped its moorings. ∎ [intr.] (slip out) (of a remark) be uttered inadvertently. ∎ (of a thought or fact) fail to be remembered by (one's mind or memory); elude (one's notice): a beautiful woman's address was never likely to slip his mind. ∎ release (an animal, typically a hunting dog) from restraint. ∎ Knitting move (a stitch) to the other needle without knitting it. ∎ release (the clutch of a motor vehicle) slightly or for a moment. ∎ (of an animal) produce (dead young) prematurely; abort. • n. 1. an act of sliding unintentionally for a short distance: a single slip could send them plummeting down the mountainside. ∎ a fall to a lower level or standard: a continued slip in house prices. ∎ relative movement of an object or surface and a solid surface in contact with it. ∎ a reduction in the movement of a pulley or other mechanism due to slipping of the belt, rope, etc. ∎ a sideways movement of an aircraft in flight, typically downward toward the center of curvature of a turn. ∎ Geol. the extent of relative horizontal displacement of corresponding points on either side of a fault plane. 2. a minor or careless mistake: the judge made a slip in his summing up. 3. a woman's loose-fitting, dress- or skirt-length undergarment, suspended by shoulder straps ( full slip) or by an elasticized waistband ( half slip): a silk slip. 4. a slope built leading into water, used for launching and landing boats and ships or for building and repairing them. ∎ a space in which to dock a boat or ship, esp. between two wharves or piers. 5. (also slip leash) a leash that enables a dog to be released quickly. 6. Knitting short for slip stitch: one color at a time should be knitted in striped slip. PHRASES: give someone the slip inf. evade or escape from someone. let something slip 1. reveal something inadvertently in the course of a conversation: Alex had let slip he was married. 2. archaic release a hound from the leash so as to begin the chase: let slip the dogs of war. let something slip through one's fingers (or grasp) lose hold or possession of something. slip of the pen (or the tongue) a minor mistake in writing (or speech).PHRASAL VERBS: slip away depart without saying goodbye; leave quietly or surreptitiously. ∎ slowly disappear; recede or dwindle: his ability to concentrate is slipping away. ∎ die peacefully (used euphemistically): he lay there and quietly slipped away. slip something over on inf. take advantage of (someone) by trickery. slip up inf. make a careless error: they often slipped up when it came to spelling. slip2 • n. 1. a small piece of paper, typically a form for writing on or one giving printed information: his monthly salary slip complete the tear-off slip below. ∎ a long, narrow strip of a thin material such as wood. 2. a cutting taken from a plant for grafting or planting; a scion. PHRASES: a slip of a —— used to denote a small, slim person: you are little more than a slip of a girl. slip3 • n. a creamy mixture of clay, water, and typically a pigment, used esp. for decorating earthenware.
Petticoats or underskirts have been used for centuries to support the various shapes of the skirt, add warmth, and protect outer garments. Since the seventeenth century the word slip was occasionally used for certain garments worn under sheer dresses, but the fore-runner of the modern slip originated in the late nineteenth century, when the petticoat was combined with a chemise or corset cover to form a one-piece, fitted, sleeveless undergarment. Because this garment used a princess cut, which shaped the bodice and skirt by vertical seaming, it was called a "princess petticoat" or "princess slip." In the early twentieth century, it came to be called a costume slip, and then merely a slip.
As an underdress or underskirt, a slip provides a middle layer that mediates between underwear and outer-wear. Among its functions, a slip can make transparent garments more modest and eliminate rubbing and unsightly clinging. Originally slips were of daintily trimmed cotton or occasionally of silk, although by the 1920s rayon was widely used. The straight-cut tubes of that period gave way to more fitted slips that accentuated the figure. In the mid-twentieth century, newly invented nylon was preferred since it was washable, drip dry, required no ironing, and was also inexpensive and colorfast. Advertisements stressed that slips were durable, shadow-proof, and cut to never embarrassingly ride up. Good taste demanded that a slip be long enough—ideally exactly one inch shorter than the outer garment—but never show at the hem. For all their opaque respectability, slips were molded to the contour of the body, often daintily decorated, and ordinarily hidden from view, giving them a certain eroticism. Films and publicity photographs of stars and starlets of the time exploited the allure of the slip, most famously on Elizabeth Taylor in the 1958 film version of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
With the general reduction of underwear in the 1960s some full slips incorporated bras while half-slips, bright colors, and patterns became increasingly popular. As skirt hems rose, slip lengths shortened, but they remained provocative garments. In 1962 Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl advised would-be flirts that showing a bit of lovely lingerie is sexy, citing a girl whose "beautiful half-slips (she has them in ten colors) always peek-a-boo a bit beneath her short sheath skirts when she sits down" (p. 78). Nevertheless, in the following decades slips came to be associated with prudish and frumpy older women. A candid photograph from 1980 caught Lady Diana Spencer, the shy young fiancée of the Prince of Wales, in a lightweight skirt against the sun, revealing the outline of her legs and her relinquishment of this once mandatory undergarment.
The slip, however, was reborn as a result of the "underwear as outerwear" phenomenon of the early 1990s. The "slip dress" became a nostalgic yet daring fashion favorite, edgily imbued with the frisson of lingerie. Its revealing cut, lightweight fabric, and spaghetti straps precluded supportive undergarments, requiring a toned body and a confident attitude. As slip dresses became more popular, they were made more practical by women and even designers who layered them over white T-shirts, completing the slip's transmutation from undergarment to outergarment.
Brown, Helen Gurley. Sex and the Single Girl. New York: B. Geis Associates, 1962. Reprint, Fort Lee, N.J.: Barricade Books, 2003.
Cunnington, C. Willett, and Phillis Cunnington. The History of Underclothes. London: Michael Joseph Ltd., 1951. Reprint, London: Faber and Faber, 1981.
Ewing, Elizabeth. Dress and Undress: A History of Women's Underwear. London: Bibliophile, 1978.
H. Kristina Haugland
1. The relative displacement to either side of a fault plane of points which were originally coincident. The total displacement (i.e. the sum of the dip-slip and strike-slip components) is called the ‘net slip’.
2. (translation gliding) The gliding of intracrystalline zones in relation to one another over distances which are integers of the unit pattern.
Hence slip sb. artificial slope XV; leash for a dog; act of slipping or sliding (cf. landslip XVII); error XVI; garment readily slipped on XVII.