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You put on your hot, $200 pair of jeans only to have your mom tell you what a cute pair of "dungarees" you are wearing. When it comes down to it, dungarees and jeans are the same thing. The older term "dungarees" is often used to describe a particularly rugged style of the ubiquitous pants.
Origin of "Dungarees"
The word "dungaree" derives from the Hindi word "dungri," meaning a denim-like cloth exported from India in the 18th century. Although the cloth was first used only for sails and tents, it eventually morphed into work clothes and became your modern-day jeans.
Origin of "Jeans"
Jeans are so called because the word sounds like Genoa, a town in Italy where sailors first wore the fabric. Denim’s name comes from a town in France, Nimes, which manufactured a particular type of heavy fabric called "serge de Nimes."
Merriam-Webster defines "dungarees" as “heavy coarse durable cotton twill woven from colored yarns” or “clothes made usually of blue denim.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines "dungarees" as trousers with a bib made of denim or other similar material – in other words, overalls. In North America, the Oxford Dictionary specifies that "dungarees" refers to “hard-wearing” denim pants.
Fashion vs. Function
If you want to be particular, "dungarees" refers more to sturdy work jeans than to bedazzled, booty-enhancing fashion versions. Think of dungarees as the rugged pants worn by cowboys, plumbers and construction workers. When you use the word "dungarees," you do not connote high fashion. You purchase a pair of designer jeans, not designer dungarees.