• synonyms


/ (ˈnɪkɪˈtæm) /


Scot a strap or string secured round a trouser leg below the knee, formerly worn esp by farm workers to keep the trouser bottoms clear of dirt


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Nearby words

nicknack, nickname, nickpoint, nicky, nicky nicky nine doors, nicky-tam, nicobar islands, nicobarese, nicodemus, nicol prism, nicolai

Word Origin for nicky-tam

C20: from knicker + tam, taum a fishing line or string
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for nicky-tam



also nicky tam, "garter worn over trousers," 1911, from Scottish, from shortened form of knickers + Scottish & northern English dialect taum, from Old Norse taumr "cord, rein, line," cognate with Old English team (see team). Originally a string tied by Scottish farmers around rolled-up trousers to keep the legs of them out of the dirt.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper