gonch (CanE)

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Nunty

Senior Member
Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
Hello everyone!

In a Facebook conversation with a Canadian friend I was introduced to the word gonch, meaning "underwear". The sample sentences I was given are:
1. This is my favorite pair of gonch.
2. I own a LOT of fancy gonch.​

My friend says it was a word that everyone used when she was growing up in Vancouver, BC. Are other people familiar with gonch? Any ideas of its origins?

Many thanks, old friends and new.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Nunty - how lovely to see you back!:):):)

    Google led me to a discussion on a site entitled A Way With Words, which begins like this:

    gonch n. underpants or panties; chones. Editorial Note: According to Katherine Barber of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, as quoted in the Edmonton Journal in 2004, this word takes a variety of spellings: “In Saskatchewan, it’s gauch, gitch or gotch, but in Alberta it’s gaunch, ginch and gonch. On the Alberta side of Lloydminster, people suddenly get an ‘n’ in their underwear, and we have no idea why.” Ginch Gonch is a brand name of stylish underwear, begun in 2004.
    I then followed a trail through the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, which went as follows:
    -------->
    gonch

    noun
    var. of gaunch.
    -------->
    gaunch

    noun
    Cdn (esp. BC & Alta.) slang underwear.
    ORIGIN alteration of gotch.
    -------->
    gotch

    noun
    Cdn slang underpants.
    ORIGIN prob. of Eastern European origin: compare Hungarian gatya, Serbo-Croat gaće.
    So there you go - it's "prob" Eastern European.

    PS. No, I've never heard it before:D.


     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    That's brilliant, Loob; thank you!
    James, I guess now it's a chicken-and-egg issue with the brand name. :)
     
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