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in 1792, the French aristocrats, who wore fashionable breeches, applied the term to their despised extremist adversaries in the French Revolution, who had symbolically switched to pantaloons and soon adopted the term
generalized to any radical or even violent extremist in politics
person who lacks culture and refinement
lower class person
{i} (French) extreme radical republican in France during the Revolution; violent and strong extremist in politics
Hence, an extreme or radical republican; a violent revolutionist; a Jacobin
(French sans-culotte, "without breeches") In the French Revolution, one of the ill-clad and ill-equipped volunteers of the Revolutionary army; also a Parisian ultrademocrat of the Revolution. The working-class sansculottes wore long trousers to distinguish themselves from the upper classes, who wore knee-breeches (culotte). Allied with the Jacobins (see Jacobin Club) in the Reign of Terror, sansculottes included ultrademocrats of all classes. Their influence waned after the fall of Maximilien Robespierre in 1794. See also Jacques Hébert
A fellow without breeches; a ragged fellow; a name of reproach given in the first French revolution to the extreme republican party, who rejected breeches as an emblem peculiar to the upper classes or aristocracy, and adopted pantaloons