The principal French word for rompers is "barboteuse" which was widely used by mothers and children. There were, however, some other words used. We notice the French using the term for puffed pants outfits for younger boys. We also notice the term being used for little boy outfits with regular short pants. This was especially true until the late 1930s. See for example a romper outfit with regular short pants in a 1935 catalog. HBC has noted several other terms used for rompers. HBC has also noted the descriptive term "culotte bouffante" (puffed short pants) used to mean rompers. This was not widely used, by the public, but was used in fashion and sewing magazines. We note that the writers in French fashion magazines offten used words not commonly used by ordinary people to describe clothes or sometimes even foreign words.
The French word for rompers is barboteuse. A french reader tells HBC that the word is derived from the verb "barboter" meaning to paddle in the water. I don't quite see the connection. One of HBC's French readers informs us, "It's one of the mysteries of the French language, there are at least as many in English. Barboter means playing in the water. Let's assume that at origin small boys who like so much play in the water where dressed like that with bare legs and feet. Another French reader provides additional information on the origins of the word "barboteuse". In reality the actual origin is really unknown. This word was probably invented by a fashion writer influenced by the verb "barboter". In the 1920s it was common to say of a wriggling infant that his little feet were wriggling, "Bébé barbote". Now we say "bébé gigote". In 1980 babywear called "Gigoteuse" was marketed by "Grenouillère". If one says now "bébé barbote," it means that he is paddling in the water like a duck. In modern French usage, "barboteuse" is widely recogized as relating to babywear. A French reader tells us that he has never seen the wordd used in French publications before 1922. The French would now not say "le garçon barbote" as it would now be understood as "the boy is stealing"! A French reader reports in 2002 that "The word barboteuse is again current to day. The current barboteuses are, however, only for children up 2 years old. They are only slightly puffed or in some cases not puffed at all. Some stores, however, offer more traditionally styles barboteuses for baby boys and a a "robe anglaise" for the girls."
HBC has noted several other terms used for rompers. HBC has also noted the descriptive term "culotte bouffante" (puffed short pants) used to mean rompers. This was not widely used, by the public, but was used in fashion and sewing magazines. We note that the writers in French fashion magazines offten used words not commonly used by ordinary people to describe clothes or sometimes even foreign words. They felt that this made the clothes sound more stylish--even ordinary clothes. While people might not commonly use these words, they were perfectly understood. We have also noted the term "culotte bloomer" (bloomer short pants) for the suspender and button-on romper bottoms worn with shirts and blouses.
By instance they are calling sometimes the romper costume bouffant ,to do smarter ; but all the poeple said only barboteuse speaking of the one or too pieces ones ;
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