Is It Really Time to Retire the Word 'Galoshes'?

Is It Really Time to Retire the Word 'Galoshes'?

Well-known Canadian columnist Don Thompson wrote a post in April 2021 discussing words he believes should be banned. Was the piece serious or tongue-in-cheek? While you contemplate the answer, we want you to know that Thompson included the word 'galoshes' on his list. He made mention of the fact that he used the word some 20 years ago yet left the store without a pair because the sales associate was confused.

Other words on Thompson's list include:

  • Mobile phone 
  • Pocketbook 
  • Rolodex 
  • Groovy 
  • Icebox

There are plenty more where those five came from. There could be hundreds of them, if not more. At the same time, Thompson said that some nine hundred new words were added to the English language in 2020. Those words now appear in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Etymology of Galoshes

The Oxford dictionary traces the etymology of the word back to middle English. It is derived from an old French word which, in turn, is derived from the Latin 'gallicula'. Interestingly enough, a single galosh is a type of clog. If you know anything about clogs, you know the earliest versions were made of wood. More importantly though, clogs are not necessarily waterproof where galoshes are.

It's not quite clear how the term 'galoshes' came to represent waterproof footwear. And of course, they don't look a whole lot like clogs either. So maybe Thompson is right. Perhaps it's time to retire the word in favor of something else. If that's the case, 'waterproof shoe covers' or 'overshoes' are two good options.

Modern Galoshes Are Different

If you are old enough to remember the Nixon administration, you probably remember galoshes that were more like firemen's boots than shoe covers. They were big and cumbersome. They were heavy and unwieldy. Yet every mother reminded her children to put on their galoshes before going outside.

Reminding you of this piece of childhood is intended to illustrate the fact that modern galoshes are quite a bit different. They are not big, cumbersome, and uncomfortable boots. They are more formfitting shoe covers that fit snugly over the top of your dress shoes.

Being that they are so different, it seems appropriate that we would not refer to them using the old term. Instead, a newer and more modern term is appropriate. That is one of the reasons GC Tech refers to our products as shoe covers and overshoes.

'Shoe covers' is a very descriptive term in the sense that it explains the very function of our products. They are intended to cover your shoes, not replace them. And in so doing, they protect your shoes against the weather.

Count on Our Shoe Covers

Regardless of the word you use to refer to shoe covers, you can count on those purchased from GC Tech. Ours are made with modern materials that represent the best the industry has to offer. They are tough, durable, lightweight, and breathable. They keep out water, snow, dirt, and debris.

We offer a slip-on model that works well with most shoes. It provides protection up to the bottom of the ankle. We also offer a zip-up model that extends protection above the ankles. Zip-ups are ideal for protecting both your shoes and socks. Either style will serve you well.

You can count on our shoe covers to keep your feet dry and clean. Whether or not you call them galoshes doesn't really matter. But if you agree with Don Thompson, feel free to ban yourself from using the term. We are fine with you calling our products waterproof shoe covers or overshoes.