This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2017)
Braccae is the Latin term for "trousers", and in this context is today used to refer to a style of trousers made from wool. According to the Romans, this style of clothing originated from the Gauls.
Braccae were typically made with a drawstring, and tended to reach from just above the knee at the shortest, to the ankles at the longest, with length generally increasing in tribes living further north.
For the Romans to encircle the legs and thighs with fasciae, or bands, was understood, in the time of Pompey and Horace, to be a proof of ill health and effeminacy. (Roman men typically wore tunics, which were one-piece outfits terminating at or above the knee).
The word is cognate with the English breeches. It appears to derive from the Indo-European root *bhrg- "break", here apparently used in the sense "divide", "separate", as in Scottish Gaelic briogais ("trousers"), in Breton bragoù ("pants"), in Irish bríste ("trousers") and brycan/brogau in Welsh. The Celtic form may have first passed to the Etruscan language, which did not distinguish between the [k] and [g] sounds. Transition through Etruscan accounts for the Greek amorge being rendered as Latin amurca, Greek κυβερνἂν (kubernân) as Latin gubernare.
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