Plimsoll shoe

A plimsoll shoe, plimsoll, plimsole or pumps (British English; see other names below) is a type of athletic shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole developed as beachwear in the 1830s by the Liverpool Rubber Company.

Plimsolls had solid rubber soles about 8 or 9 mm thick, to which the canvas was glued without coming up the sides (as on trainers). The effect when running was similar to running without shoes.

The shoe was originally, and often still is in parts of the United Kingdom, called a "sand shoe" and acquired the nickname "plimsoll" in the 1870s. This name arose, according to Nicholette Jones's book The Plimsoll Sensation, because the coloured horizontal band joining the upper to the sole resembled the Plimsoll line on a ship's hull, or because, just like the Plimsoll line on a ship, if water got above the line of the rubber sole, the wearer would get wet.[1]

In the UK plimsolls are commonly worn for schools' indoor physical education lessons. Regional terms are common: in Northern Ireland and central Scotland they are sometimes known as gutties; "sannies" (from 'sand shoe') is also used in Scotland.[2] In parts of the West Country and Wales they are known as "daps" or "dappers". In London, the home counties, much of the West Midlands, the West Riding of Yorkshire and north west of England they are known as "pumps".[3] There is a widespread belief that "daps" is taken from a factory sign – "Dunlop Athletic Plimsoles" which was called "the DAP factory". However, this seems unlikely as the first citation in the Oxford English Dictionary of "dap" for a rubber soled shoe is a March 1924 use in the Western Daily Press newspaper; Dunlop did not acquire the Liverpool Rubber Company (as part of the merger with the Macintosh group of companies) until 1925. Plimsolls were issued to the British military (called 'road slappers' by the common soldiery) until replaced by trainers in the mid-80's. If white they required hours of application of shoe whitener, if black they were required to be polished until they gleamed.

As it was commonly used for corporal punishment in the British Commonwealth, where it was the typical gym shoe (part of the school uniform), plimsolling is also a synonym for a slippering.

School plimsolls
Traditional school plimsolls with elastic instead of laces.
Plimsoll shoe
A small-sized plimsoll with a tartan design, using a CVO (Circular Vamp Oxford) design/style.

Outside the United Kingdom

Plimsolls are referred to as:

  • Australiasandshoe or more simply with teenagers "canvas shoe", and include the similar shoe, the Dunlop Volley[4]
  • Canada – also called running shoes, or runners
  • France – "chaussures de tennis", or more simply "tennis"
  • India – white plimsolls are often worn by school children and are known as Keds dating from the 1970s and earlier, and more commonly, as "canvas shoes". The brown version is used by most police and military units as a gym training shoe.
  • Ireland – "Gutties". Occasionally called rubber dollies in County Cork.
  • Italy – "Scarpe da tennis" or "scarpe da ginnastica"; Superga or Converse like the name of the famous brands, these names commonly apply only to the same brands.
  • New Zealand - sandshoe was commonly used in the past, although it is now somewhat old-fashioned.
  • Russia and Russian-speaking countries – Keds (Russian: ке́ды, kédy) after the famous American brand.
  • South Africa – South African slang for shoes with a canvas upper and rubber sole is takkies.
  • Spain – a "modern" substitute for traditional espadrilles, rubber soled canvas shoes were the standard shoe for decades, up to the 1970s. Trade mark Wamba became a household name, producing a universal unlaced indigo blue canvas shoe, worn by adults and children alike. Still today any kind of trainer shoe is known as Wambas in some parts of the country.
  • United Statessneakers, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, Keds, or Chucks
  • Portugal – Sapatos de lona or Sapatilhas


  1. ^ "99% Invisible, Episode 33 – A Cheer for Samuel Plimsoll".
  2. ^ "sannies – Dictionary of Playground Slang (Online)". Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  3. ^ "BBC Word Map – enter What they wear and Child's soft shoes". Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  4. ^ "Sneaker pimps". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2005-06-21.
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Liverpool Collegiate School

Liverpool Collegiate School was an all-boys grammar school, later a comprehensive school, in the Everton area of Liverpool.


Plimsoll may refer to:

Plimsoll (surname)

The plimsoll symbol (⦵ or o) that is used as a superscript in the notation of thermodynamics to indicate an arbitrarily chosen non-zero reference point ("standard state").

Plimsoll line or Plimsoll mark on a ship's hull, named after Samuel Plimsoll

Plimsoll shoe, which is named for the shoe's horizontal lines, which resemble the Plimsoll line

School corporal punishment

School corporal punishment refers to inflicting deliberate physical or emotional pain or discomfort in response to undesired behavior by students in schools. It often involves striking the student either across the buttocks or palms of their hands or on the hands, with a tool such as a rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap or wooden yardstick. Less commonly, it could also include spanking or smacking the student with the open hand, especially at the primary school and junior secondary school levels .

In the English-speaking world, the use by schools of corporal punishment has historically been justified by the common-law doctrine in loco parentis, whereby teachers are considered authority figures granted the same rights as parents to punish children in their care if they do not adhere to the set rules.

Advocates of school corporal punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline and that the student is quickly back in the classroom learning, unlike suspension from school. Opponents, including a number of medical and psychological societies, along with human-rights groups, argue that physical punishment is ineffective in the long term, interferes with learning, leads to antisocial behavior as well as various forms of mental distress, disproportionately affects students of color, and is a form of violence that breaches the rights of children.Poland was the first nation to outlaw corporal punishment in schools in 1783. School corporal punishment is no longer legal in any European country. As of 2016, an estimated 128 countries have prohibited corporal punishment in schools, including all of Europe, and most of South America and East Asia. Approximately 69 countries still allow for corporal punishment in schools, including parts of the United States, some Australian states, and a number of countries in Africa and Asia.


The waterline is the line where the hull of a ship meets the surface of the water. Specifically, it is also the name of a special marking, also known as an international load line, Plimsoll line and water line (positioned amidships), that indicates the draft of the ship and the legal limit to which a ship may be loaded for specific water types and temperatures in order to safely maintain buoyancy, particularly with regard to the hazard of waves that may arise. Varying water temperatures will affect a ship's draft; because warm water is less dense than cold water, providing less buoyancy. In the same way, fresh water is less dense than salinated or seawater with the same lessening effect upon buoyancy.

For vessels with displacement hulls, the hull speed is determined by, among other things, the waterline length. In a sailing boat, the waterline length can change significantly as the boat heels, and can dynamically affect the speed of the boat.

The waterline can also refer to any line on a ship's hull that is parallel to the water's surface when the ship is afloat in a normal position. Hence, all waterlines are one class of "ships lines" used to denote the shape of a hull in naval architecture plans.

In aircraft design, the term "waterline" refers to the vertical location of items on the aircraft. This is (normally) the "Z" axis of an XYZ coordinate system, the other two axes being the fuselage station (X) and buttock line (Y).

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