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In Chinese apparently there is an extra character added for long/short pants and half/full dress. And footwear applies to sandals, boots, sneakers, etc. Is there an English word that means pants and/or shorts? And one that means a dress and/or skirt?

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The only thing that comes to mind is the archaic expression "nether garments." –  Robusto Aug 14 '13 at 12:53
    
Your notion of Chinese garment terminology is off—you can add either 短 duân ‘short’ or 长 cháng ‘long’ before any piece of clothing where it makes sense, just like in English; but apart from that, trousers, pants, skirts, and dresses do not have a common denominator. Robusto’s comment gives the only word I can think of, too, but I have a nagging suspicion a lot of people would be unsure whether ‘nether garments’ refers to undergarments or garments worn on the lower part of the body. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 14 '13 at 13:44
    
Also, dresses don't really belong here at all, since they are worn on the upper part of the body and simply flow down over the lower part. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 14 '13 at 13:44
    
There are the words bottoms and tops. Bottoms applies to pants, shorts, and skirts; tops applies to t-shirts, blouses, tanktops, and the like. Not an exact fit, but in the ballpark. –  J.R. Aug 14 '13 at 19:08
    
You appear to be using "pants" with the American meaning of the word, but you should be aware that the word has a different meaning in British English. In British English, "pants" refers to men's underwear, whether 'boxer shorts' or more tightly fitting underwear; men's or ladies' long-legged outerwear is known as 'trousers'. 'Shorts' refers to men's or ladies' outerwear with short legs terminating at or above the knee. –  TrevorD Aug 14 '13 at 20:57

1 Answer 1

I am going to go out on a limb on this one and say that the answer to your question is: "NO, there is no such word."

If someone can prove me wrong I will withdraw this answer.

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