A man wearing pyjamas in Shanghai. Picture: AFP A man wearing pyjamas in Shanghai. Picture: AFP
A man wearing pyjamas in Shanghai. Picture: AFP
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Where the word pyjamas comes from ... or is it pajamas?

How the word entered the English lexicon, and how the garment was adopted by Europeans – though not initially as nightwear

A man wearing pyjamas in Shanghai. Picture: AFP A man wearing pyjamas in Shanghai. Picture: AFP
A man wearing pyjamas in Shanghai. Picture: AFP
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Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim has worked in Singapore, Britain, Amsterdam and Sri Lanka, and until June 2018 was Associate Professor and Head of the School of English at the University of Hong Kong, where she still holds an Honorary position. She now is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. She is co-editor of the journal Language Ecology, founder of the website linguisticminorities.hk, and co-author of Languages in Contact (Cambridge University Press, 2016).