handkerchief

(redirected from hanky)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to hanky: hankey

handkerchief.

In classical Greece pieces of fine perfumed cotton, known as mouth or perspiration cloths, were often used by the wealthy. From the 1st cent. B.C., Roman men of rank used an oblong cloth of linen (the sudarium) chiefly to wipe perspiration from the face and hands. During the empire a square handkerchief of cotton or silk was carried, especially by women. The handkerchief was dropped by the praetors as a starting signal in the Roman games and was waved by spectators as a sign of approval. In the Middle Ages it was a prized possession and was conspicuously displayed by the wealthy. It was worn by knights in tournament as the symbol of a lady's favor. It came into general use in the Renaissance and was called a napkyn. Silk, cambric, and lawn, lavishly embroidered or laced, became fashionable for both men and women. Shapes were also varied. Today the handkerchief is more practical than decorative. Disposable paper handkerchiefs are used for all but very formal occasions. The handkerchief carried in the left hand of the officiating priest in the early Christian church evolved into a folded band that by the 12th cent. had become the maniple, worn on the left arm.
References in periodicals archive ?
Its interaction with local history, Hanky believes, is the very essence of what will make The Henry Manila a hit among its guests.
More unusually, Brenda owns a Fulton''s Military Hanky.
He runs to the loo with a hanky but on the way everyone just gets showered.
A spokesman said: "We will do the simple hanky test to show them the difference.
Paul, and Carl Pohlad, owner of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, held a "ceremonial waving" of the 1991 version of the Homer Hanky at a recent press conference.
is proud to announce that Hanky Panky has qualified and been granted the Made in USA Certified Seal.
HANKY PANKY (Aidan O'Brien) HANKY Panky may have failed to win in two starts but she will surely make it third-time lucky next time.
AIDAN O'BRIEN hasn't unleashed many juvenile fillies yet this season but one of thosewhohasracedalready is HANKY PANKY, second behind Salhooda at the CurraghonSunday .
I still have a crush on Bruce Willis - he gave me his hanky and I'm going to keep it and protect it.
But I wouldn't want him to think there could be any hanky panky, so how do make that clear without giving offence?
We looked to see if there was any hanky panky going on in that steamy Jacuzzi room, but were disappointed to find only a few lonely beach balls floating across the empty waters.