What does onesie mean?
Snuggle up: A onesie is a one-piece item of loungewear or sleepwear. Traditionally, onesies are worn by babies, but they exploded into adult novelty fashion in the 2010s.
- piano cat
Examples of onesie
Where does onesie come from?
The cozy onesie has its fashion origins where the people needed it most: chilly, rainy, 1940s Great Britain. Winston Churchill is said to have designed the first one (complete with pinstripes) because it was warm and easy to wear over his pajamas in night raids during WWII. He even wore it to a meeting with General Dwight Eisenhower, who was probably like:
The Brits seemed to like the new clothing item, though. Londoners made the onesie their own and even started dressing their babies in onesies in the 1950s after they had fallen out of adult fashion.
In the early days, onesies were known as siren suits or union suits. It was with US baby fashion in the early 2000s that the term onesie really started to spread, though the word dates back to the 1980s (a one-piece garment with the cutesy –sy/-sie suffix). Fun fact? Previous, unrelated meanings of onesie include a move in the game of jacks. Also, just so you know, onesie is technically a trademarked term by Gerber, so don’t go selling your homemade onesies by that name.
By the 2010s, adults had taken the onesie back. Google searches for onesie peak reliably every year around Halloween and Christmas as consumers online shop for costumes and excuses for a terrible Christmas morning onesie photo op.
Who uses onesie?
Today, onesie conversation is split between baby and adult fashion. Baby onesies usually snap at the crotch and have sleeves but not legs. Adult onesies tend to be one-piece pajama tops and bottoms.
When discussing the tiniest onesies for children, you’re most likely to see discussions of the best fabrics for the baby’s sensitive skin. You’ll also probably run into some funny (and often tasteless) sayings printed on baby onesies.
Adult onesies are billed by lifestyle writers and wearers alike as cozy, warm, and soft. They’re a go-to for a lazy day.
eating chickfila in my onesie about to start watching black mirror because this is what Saturdays are all about
— Mac McCann (@MacMcCannTX) December 30, 2017
Adult onesies aren’t just about the comfort. They’re also often seen as silly, especially those designed to look like giant animals. It’s not uncommon to see fans freak out over seeing their favorite celebrities in onesies.
LOOK AT YOONGI’S LIL DAB THIS WHOLE GIF IS SO CUTE LIKE THE WHITE BEAR(??) ONESIE GLASSES AND LIL DANCE AAAAA pic.twitter.com/7QsMBVCoOC
— victoria (@yoongispuppy) May 26, 2018
Katie was really out there at her autograph table in a onesie, god I absolutely adore this woman 😂 pic.twitter.com/1O1mKr43iS
— Tasha➹ (@ClexaSlays) June 3, 2018
Onesies are also pretty popular in what’s known as the “adult baby” fetish community. So, if you’re looking for a recommendation for a slightly sexier adult onesie, head on over to that corner of the internet.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of onesie like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of onesie that will help our users expand their word mastery.