Why is an athletic support called a “jock strap”?
The jock strap is an athletic support garment. It is known by many other names such as strap, supporter, or athletic supporter. Basically, it was designed to support male genitals during rigorous physical activity such as sports. The basic jock strap is composed of an elastic waistband that contains two elastic straps and a support pouch. The straps are placed at the pouch and to the two sides of the waistband. In some designs, the pouch is fitted with an impact resistant pocket to protect the penis or the testicles from potential injury.
“Jockey” which means rider has been in use since the 1670’s. The word was actually a diminutive form for the Scot name “Jock” (John in English). Nicknames such as Jack and John and Jock and Jockey were generally used to call a fellow, boy, man, or most male individuals whose name were unknowns. And from the time between 1650 and 1850, the word “jock” became commonly used to refer to the male genital.
The popularity of the word “jock strap” can be traced back to 1897 but it has been in use for a long time before that. Most likely, it was derived from the word “jockey strap” which was then the garment used for bike riders. It was in 1874 when the Bike Jockey Strap product was manufactured in the United States. But the more recent term that means athlete can be traced back to 1959. It was derived from the word jock strap.
The jock strap garment itself has undergone a lot of changes through the years. For example, before it became the garment everyone is familiar with today, it actually used to be a made from rubberized girdle made of colon. It was worn for modesty reasons by boys and men under their bathing suits in beaches. But as new sports became popular, men who were into physical activities began to wear it underneath their uniforms to avoid corrupting people with public displays of their genitals.
But as was mentioned earlier, the jockey strap is worn for support reasons. Today, the focus is actually on protecting the make genitals instead of protecting public opinion. There are now various kinds of jock straps made from a wide range of materials in different sizes. Almost every sport has a certain jockey strap that has been designed specifically to ensure maximum performance. For example, football players wear a different jockey strap compared to swimmers.