Khaki, in British or European parlance,
is a type of green tinged brown
of such fabric. Traditionally pronounced "KAR-kee"
(which remains common usage in Canada),
it is today more often called "KAH-kee"
in Britain and "KAA-kee" in the
USA. The name comes from the Persian
khak meaning earth-colored or dust colored
(through the Urdu language). The original
khaki fabric is a closely twilled cloth
Brigadier Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden began
the use of Khaki for British Army
regiments serving under him in
1848. All British troops in India adopted
khaki in 1885 having previously used white
as the tropical color. The Boers used khaki
clothing as camouflage in the first Boer
War; in the second Boer War the British
did as well.
The United States Army adoped khaki,
where it means a greenish tan or sand color,
during the Spanish American War . It has
become de rigeur for military uniforms
of militaries the world over (e.g. the United
States Navy and the United States Marine
Corps), but has also spread to civilian
clothing, where "khakis" since
the 1950s has meant tan cotton twill trousers.
"Khaki" has also become a common
slang term in the United States Navy that
refers to chief petty officers and officers
(who wear a khaki-colored
also referred to as "khakis".)
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