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October 23, 2023 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"nylon"
Definition--any of various very strong, elastic synthetic resins from which a wide variety of products are manufactured, including clothing, hosiery, ropes and brushes. The plural form nylons refers to stockings made of nylon material.
Discussion--In modern times, nylon has replaced the silk stockings first worn by Queen Elizabeth in 1589. Nylon was invented shortly before World War II by Dr. Wallace Carothers of DuPont. It was originally called "Fiber 66", and was renamed and introduced to the public at the New York World's fair in 1938. Nylon stockings became extremely popular when they were sold publicly, but availability was disrupted as the entire output was used for the war effort. Nylons remained popular after the war until the introduction of pantyhose in 1970; pantyhose quickly gained 70% of the market share.

Besides hosiery, nylon is used extensively in the manufacturing of items, such as carpeting, inline skates, zippers, fishing nets, golf balls, gun handles, and more.

Etymology--Nylon was coined by DuPont in 1938. They combined "nyl" with the English suffix "-on". They reportedly intended it to be reminiscent of other fiber terms such as cotton and rayon.

The term also appears in the languages shown below.

   Foreign Translations
German:  Nylon (nt)
Dutch:  nylon
French:  nylon (m)
Italian:  nailon
Spanish:  nylon

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