Why, oh why, are Wellington Boots called gumboots in Wellington?
Yes, these are the deep questions that keep me up at night. But "wellies" are named after the First Duke of Wellington, as is the capital city of New Zealand. The boot was popularized by the duke, aka Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Then rich folk, also derided in Scotland as the "yahs" for the way they pronounced the word for the affirmative, adopted wellies in the early 19th century.
The Duke, not he of "True Grit" fame, told his shoemaker to adapt the Hessian boot. The resulting new boot was fabricated in soft calfskin leather, had the trim removed and was cut to fit more closely around the leg, according to Wikipedia and for the one fashionista who reads this blog.
As if the whole gumboot scandal were not enough, the Kiwis have even changed the name of the classic Billy Connolly song, "Where would you be if it wasnae fer your wellies?" to use the offending gumboot word.
You would, in fact, be in the hospital or the infirmary.
This whole outrage makes me sad. I have, in protest, refused to wear gumboots and have been treated to a sensation I have not felt since my days as a school boy in Scotland: soggy socks. Your principles always come at a cost. Long live wellies.
As Forrest Gumpboot might say, that's all I've got to say about that.