General English


  • comedy. The term comes from the soccus, a type of lightlow-heeled shoe worn by actors in the classical Greek and Roman comedies.The term sock and buskin is sometimes used to refer to comedyand tragedy, or drama in general. Hence Dryden's lines, which appearso ludicrous to modern readers:
    Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here
    Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear.
    see also buskin.

Origin & History of “sock”

English has two distinct words sock. The noun ‘foot covering’ (OE) originally meant ‘light shoe’, and went back ultimately to Greek súkkhos, a word perhaps borrowed from some Asiatic language. Latin took this over as soccus, which was then borrowed into prehistoric Germanic as *sok-. And this in turn evolved into German socke, Dutch zok, Swedish socka, Danish sok, and English sock. The origins of sock ‘hit’ (17th c.) are not known.