From Academic Kids

A pair of men's briefs
A pair of men's briefs

Briefs are a type of Y-shaped men's underwear and swimwear. Unlike boxer shorts, briefs hold the user's genitals in a relatively fixed position. This fact makes briefs a popular underwear choice for men who are participating in athletic activities or who feel they need more support than loose-fitting underwear can provide.

Briefs were first sold on 19 January 1935 by Coopers, Inc., in Chicago, Illinois. They dubbed the new undergarment the "Jockey" because it offered a similar degree of support from the jockstrap. 30,000 pairs were sold within three months of their introduction.

In Britain, briefs were first sold in 1938. Soon, shops were selling 3,000 briefs per week. They were so popular that in 1948 every member of the British Olympic team was given a free pair of briefs.

In Britain the term "jockeys" has not caught on, and briefs are often referred to as "Y-fronts".

"Tighty whities" is a common American nickname for briefs. The term originally was derogatory in nature and was coined by wearers of boxer shorts to make fun of those who wore briefs. In the 1990s, briefs were seen as uncool, especially among teenagers. The animated cartoon character Homer Simpson is often depicted sitting on his couch in his briefs drinking a can of 'Duff Beer'. In the comic strips Bloom County and Outland, cartoonist Berkeley Breathed often drew his characters Opus the Penguin and Bill the Cat sitting on a couch wearing briefs while discussing their anxieties.

In recent years, there has been a renewed popularity in briefs. Since 1998, there has been an annual Underpants Run as part of the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. Robert John Burck, also known as the Naked Cowboy is a musician who plays in Times Square clad only in his briefs, boots and a cowboy hat. In 2002, columnist Dan Savage held a 'Tighty Whities are Hot' contest. On May 3, 2003, Ashton Kutcher delivered his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live in a pair of briefs. On June 11, 2004, English football captain David Beckham was photographed by a paparazzo while standing on the balcony of a Lisbon hotel wearing nothing but a pair of briefs.

In competitive swimwear, competition briefs, or speedos as they are commonly called, are a popular style of bathing suits.

Some people mistakenly refer to "Tighty Whities" as "Tidy Whities."de:Slip (Kleidung) ja:ブリーフ nl:Slip (onderkleding)


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