Is calling a tank top a wife beater offensive?
The term and its implications are inappropriate and offensive, and should be abandoned for countless reasons—one being that sleeveless ribbed tank tops of this variety have taken on a whole new identity as of late.
|Longsleeve knit top||jumper|
|Sleeveless knit top||sleeveless jumper, slipover, knit tank top|
|Sleeveless dress worn over a shirt||Pinafore, pinny, pinafore dress|
|Old-fashioned style of apron||Pinafore apron|
The connection to sleeveless shirts may be a total coincidence, but linguists do cite these medieval origins for the phrase "wife beater," to refer to an abusive spouse. The first use of "wife beater" was seen in the New York Times, for example, in 1880, to describe a man who had beat his wife.
: a sleeveless collarless shirt with usually wide shoulder straps and no front opening.
A camisole, also called just cami, is a sleeveless undergarment for women, normally extending to the waist.
Tank tops or halters
While there are plenty of work-appropriate sleeveless tops for women, tank tops and camisoles should serve as undergarments in the workplace. Layer it under a blazer or camisole. As for men, only lifeguards should bare their shoulders at work.
In British English, "bathroom" is a common term but is typically reserved for private rooms primarily used for bathing; a room without a bathtub or shower is more often known as a "WC", an abbreviation for water closet, "lavatory", or "loo". Other terms are also used, some as part of a regional dialect.
And there is also a small sink in the loo, so we can brush our teeth there if we want. Footnote: Take a bath is American English. In British English we have a bath / shower.
|British English||American English|
|Pants / Underwear / Knickers||Underwear / panties|
|Jumper / Pullover / Sweater / Jersey||Sweater|
In the U.S., I've typically heard it used when referring to one-piece spandex wrestling outfits. Sleeveless Shirt: Describes literally any shirt without sleeves. Undershirt: Available as sleeved or sleeveless shirts for both men and women. Typically the most common alternative I've heard.
Why do people call tank tops wife beaters?
The tank top named as a wife-beater originated from the image of a brutal man wearing a sleeveless undershirt who looks like he would beat his wife.
Not long ago, an acquaintance mentioned that her dad wears “wife beaters.” She was referring to the sleeveless, ribbed undershirt also known as an A-shirt. I myself have used the term before — and I've worn the shirt plenty — but this time it stopped me cold.
(a kind of sleeveless shirt): A-shirt, athletic shirt, beater, muscle shirt, singlet (chiefly Australia, UK), tank top, vest.