A pocket is a bag- or envelope-like receptacle either fastened to or inserted in an article of clothing to hold small items. Pockets are also attached to luggage, backpacks, and similar items. In older usage, a pocket was a separate small bag or pouch. Origins Ancient people used leather or cloth pouches to hold valuables. tzi (also called the 'Iceman'), who lived around 3, 300 BCE, had a belt with a pouch sewn to it that contained a cache of useful items: a scraper, drill, flint flake, bone awl, and a dried tinder fungus. In European clothing, fitchets, resembling modern day pockets, appeared in the 13th century. Vertical slits were cut in the super tunic, which did not have any side openings, to allow access to purse or keys slung from the girdle of the tunic. According to historian Rebecca Unsworth, it was in the late 15th century that pockets became more noticeable. During the 16th century, pockets increased in popularity and prevalence. In slightly later European clothing, pockets began by being hung like purses from a belt, which could be concealed beneath a coat or jerkin to discourage pickpocketing and reached through a slit in the outer garment. In the 17th century, pockets began to be sewn into men's clothing, but not women's, which continued to be tied on and hidden under the large skirts popular at the time. The word appears in Middle English as pocket, and is taken from a Norman diminutive of Old French poke, pouque, modern poche, cf. pouch.
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