See also: Thong, thông, and thống


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From Middle English thong, thwong, thwang, from Old English þwong, þwang, þweng, þwæng (thong, band, strap, cord, strip of leather; phylactery), from Proto-West Germanic *þwangi, from Proto-Germanic *þwangiz, *þwanguz (coercion, constraint, band, clamp, strap), from Proto-Indo-European *twenk- (to squeeze, press, pressure).

Cognate with Scots thwang, thwayng, thang (thong), Middle Low German dwenge (clamp, jaws, steel-trap), German Zwinge (vise, clamp), Danish tvinge (clamp), dialectal Norwegian tveng (shoestrap, shoelace), Icelandic þvengur (strap, thong, latchet).


  • enPR: thŏng, IPA(key): /θɒŋ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒŋ


thong (plural thongs)

  1. A strip of leather.
  2. (usually in the plural, Australia, US) An item of footwear, usually of rubber, secured by two straps which join to pass between the big toe and its neighbour.
    • 1963 March 16, Hal Porter, “Little old lady passing by”, in The Bulletin, page 22, column 3:
      Because of August he wears shorts and sandals, the Japanese geta sort called thongs.
    • 1964, The Beach Boys, All Summer Long
      T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs (T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs).
    • 2006, Peter Murray, David Poole, Grant Jones, Contemporary Issues in Management and Organisational Behaviour, Thomson, page 108,
      Players turned up for questioning wearing thongs, shorts and T-shirts.
    • 2008, Steve Parish, Eccentric Australia[1], page 104:
      Thongs are the favoured footwear for many Aussies, especially near the beaches, but most people in the Outback find that they can′t put a foot wrong with a tough, nicely worn-in pair or workboots.
    • 2009, Charles Rawlings-Way, Sydney, Lonely Planet, page 126,
      You shouldn′t face condescension if you rock into a boutique in your thongs and a singlet, but neither will you be treated like a princess just because you′ve splashed $5000 on daddy′s credit card.
  3. (UK, US) An undergarment or swimwear consisting of very narrow strips designed to cover just the genitals and nothing more.
    No! I won't buy you a thong. You're too young for that.
  4. The largest section of a bullwhip constructed of many straps of braided leather.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.).



  1. pillar

Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Old English þwang, from Proto-West Germanic *þwangi, from Proto-Germanic *þwangiz.



thong (plural thonges)

  1. A strip cut from a piece of leather.


  • English: thong
  • Scots: thwang, thwayng, thang
  • Yola: fong