Socks, the origin of the name
The oldest known socks were found in Egypt and date back to between the years 250 and 420. Some people believe that the word sock came into Old English from the Latin ‘soccus’, a loose-fitting shoe or slipper. However, it’s likely the modern word ‘sock’ has come from the ancient Greek word ‘sykkos,’ which referred to a thin shoe that could be worn with sandals.
Early socks in ancient Greece had their own special construction — matted animal furs. A pair of breathable cotton socks never sounded so nice.
Only wealthy people had nice socks
Historians say socks transformed from functional footwear to fashion symbols around 1000 CE, in part because making comfortable socks was a time-consuming, intricate process. Nobles and kings alike sported knee-high stockings as a way to express their financial and class standing because, like many belongings, the silkier the material, the wealthier you were.
Sockcity in China
The Datang District in eastern China is one of the top sock producers in the world, producing roughly one-third of the world’s socks each year, the city is often referred as the ‘sock city’. It has been estimated that in one year, the town’s factories made two pairs of socks for every person in the world.
Albert Einstein didn’t wear socks
Einstein is known for his eccentricities — like his flyaway hairstyle or his penchant for going sailing on days with no wind just for the challenge of it — but he also wasn’t a fan of wearing socks. Einstein didn’t see the logic in wearing both socks and shoes, especially if socks were going to eventually have holes. He gave them up as a child, annoyed at the holes made by his big toes.
Published in Dawn, Young World, January 20th, 2018