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Retrieved 20 January It is an onomatopoeia of the sound made by the sandals when walking in them.

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Flip-flops are a type of sandal, typically worn as a form of casual wear. They consist of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped strap known as a toe thong that passes between the first and second toes and around both sides of the foot.
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In the s and early s in the New York metropolitan area, people did refer to the shoes as thongs. It was from the early to mids that the transition to the term
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I have always regarded the term as solely referring to a type of sandal with a rubberised plastic base and a toe-piece attached to a V-shaped strap. There may be variations on that - but certainly never an ankle strap: It's only recently that I've become aware of them being called thongs by some. To me, a thong would formerly have meant a leather strap, but now also refers to a G-string bikini bottom. I would tend to agree with tchrist here: I now live in Germany, so I may be a bit out of touch with some of the current trends.

John M 3. Your answer is the most informative because it's based on experience across the US and across the decades and sticks to observation and facts without assumptions. Many of the comments added up bits and pieces of the history but I can't accept a comment as an answer.

Rick Breneman 41 1. Welcome to English SE! Any chance you could add some sources to back up your answer? Thong is still used. So is flip flop and sometimes just sandal.

However this totally opens up some company in a few years to build their whole marketing theme around using the word thong to differentiate them from competitors. OC2PS 3 5. I don't think anybody here ever claimed that Australia invented either the word thong or even added the footwear sense to its other senses.

Only that there was no prior term used for this type of footwear in Australia. Also both of the etymonline links were already included in the question so repeating them in the answer isn't adding anything. I am interested in evidence that the footwear sense of thong persists in California, or evidence that is does not persist in other parts of North America. I know you didn't say Australia invented "thong" If you check out the links from LATimes circa and included in the answer, you'll see evidence that the footwear sense of thong persists in California.

Thanks for the new links. But I can't see anything but a non sequitur. If you don't feel that they were always called flip flops in the UK and always called thongs in Australia you haven't shown those claims to be untrue.

You'd have to tell us the former terms in those places. The "very little to contribute" paragraph is a straw man argument that I don't get at all. The 2 LATimes links clearly demonstrate that as late as thong was used in CA in the footwear sense. As an American, I am absolutely baffled by the idea that Australians have no contribution to the English language. Why must Australia's contribution cease in and yet America can still show its influence in ?

I don't even have words for such foolery. Des Chisholm 9 1. I encourage you to visit the help center for guidance. Lol I don't like the sound of "flip flop" I think it sounds ridiculous so I continue to use thong as it always was used and STILL is used in the sane parts of the world!! Please enter a minimum and maximum price.

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