From Old English cyrtel, cognate with Old Norse kyrtill (“tunic”) (whence Icelandic kyrtill, Danish kjortel (“gown, tunic”), Swedish kjortel (“petticoat, skirt”)), from Old Norse *kurtil-, supposedly a diminutive of *kurt-, from Latin curtus (“short, shortened”). Compare German Kittel.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkəːt(ə)l/, /ˈkɜː(ɹ)-/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkɚt(ə)l/, /-ɾ(ə)l/
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)təl
- Hyphenation: kir‧tle
kirtle (plural kirtles)
- A knee-length tunic.
- A short jacket.
- A woman's gown; a woman's outer petticoat or skirt.
1839 January 19, A. C., “English Romantic Ballads. No. VI. The Spanish Lady’s Love.—The Nut-brown Maid.”, in The Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, volume VIII, number 436, London: Charles Knight & Co., 22, Ludgate Street, OCLC 857348705, page 19, column 1:
- [Y]ou must cut these fine tresses close by your ears, your rich kirtle close by the knee: you must bear my bow and carry my arrows, ay, and be ready at once to go to the greenwood with one for whose head much gold is offered.