What Are BVDs?


Quick Answer

BVDs are a brand of men's underwear. The name is an abbreviation for the brand Bradley, Voorhees & Day, which began manufacturing underwear in 1876. By the 1920s, the abbreviation was in common usage and began to be used as a slang synonym referring to all underwear.

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Full Answer

Because Bradley, Voorhees & Day did not publicize what "BVDs" stood for, many urban legends arose regarding the meaning of the name. Among the most widely circulated meanings were "boys' ventilated drawers," "baby's ventilated diapers" and "back-vented drawers," all drawing on the fact that the original BVDs had front buttons and flaps in the rear. Bradley, Voorhees & Day was purchased by Fruit of the Loom in 1976.

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