The word “skinny” has been used to describe thin or slender people for a long time, but its origin is not entirely clear. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “skinny” in the sense of “thin” or “lean” first appeared in the early 19th century. However, the word has likely been used in similar ways for much longer.
One theory is that it may have originated as a slang or informal word, and eventually made its way into more formal usage. Another theory is that it comes from the word “skin,” as in “thin as a skin,” which has been used as a metaphor for thinness for centuries.
The word has been used in English since at least the 17th century when it appeared to have meant something akin to ‘barely there’ or ‘meagre’, but by the early 19th century, it had taken on the meaning of ‘thin or thin and bony’.
It is also possible that the word “skinny” may have had multiple independent origins, or that its origin has been lost to history.
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