The always sharp and vigilant Nancy Friedman has spotted an American incursion of “knickers,” meaning women’s underwear. Heretofore I’ve only seen one instance — a quote by the actress Anna Kendrick– and the NOOB expression “knickers in a twist.” Nancy writes that it comes via two underwear brands:
The first brand is Knickey, founded in 2017 in New York City and still headquartered there. Knickey sells organic-cotton women’s undergarments, top and bottom, in sizes XXS to XXXL (although the largest size isn’t terribly large by contemporary fit standards). The brand name certainly appears to be derived from knickers—it’s not explained on the website, and I found no US trademark applications from the company that reveal the name’s derivation. Knickey is cutely reinforced by one of the product categories: “Knick Knacks.” But Knickey doesn’t go Full British Usage in its product names; it calls its bottom-half apparel “undies.”…
One of the Knickey knick-knacks is the Knickey hanky, illustrated with abstract renderings of bodies viewed from the rear. I discovered the other knickers-esque brand name during a stroll down San Francisco’s Fillmore Street….
Knix was founded in Toronto in 2013; the San Francisco store opened in November 2021. The company sells its own line of seamless bras, underwear—nope, not “knickers” … yet—and leakproof underwear (a growing category of its own). The parent company, Knix Wear, began registering U.S. trademarks in 2012; its applications don’t include a clarification of the name, but again—pretty clearly derived from “knickers.”
We shall see if “knickers” moves from the retail space to the real people actually using it space. I have my doubts, but my prognostication is worth the money you have paid for it.