Flip-flops: Slaps, Zories, Thongs, or Slippers

The Flip-Flops Revolution: From the 1940s Through Today

It’s thought that flip-flops first debuted in America after World War II, when soldiers brought “zori” sandals home as gifts from Japan. As a result, there is a small population of America’s East Coast that still calls these sandals “zories”. Since then, the design of the flip-flop has been re-hashed to provide more comfort and durability than ever. For example, this hi-tech pair from OluKai features traction grips, an anatomically designed comfy footbed, a compression-molded EVA midsole and is vegan friendly.

Sound It Out: If This Shoe Could Talk

Did you know the word flip-flop is an onomatopoeia? It’s a name derived from the sound that an object makes. For example, the word “flip-flop” can be linked to the flapping noise that occurs when walking in these comfy sandals. In North America and Europe, these shoes are appropriately called, “slaps”.

Say It Like a Local, Mate

Some of the other words for “flip-flop” come from their signature design. In the United Kingdom and Australia, these stringy shoes are called, “thongs” owing to the shoes’ thin straps, like this cute pair from Hawaiian-based brand, OluKai.

In Hawai’i, the rich mix of immigrants has created several dialects, most notably Hawaiian Pidgin. The array of vocabulary and expressions used in Hawai’i is enough to excite any linguist. One of the most popular expressions there for flip-flops is, “slippers” or “slippahs”, as they are commonly referred to in the Aloha State.

Today, this shoe is ubiquitous in the American culture. No longer reserved for just the beach or swimming pool, the flip-flop is a staple shoe of children and adults alike. A huge range of styles are available, for example, this sleek, fashion-forward pair by Olukai, or this glamorous sparkly set by Reef. Some die-hard sandal fans have even been known to sport their flip-flops during the cold winter months. We say, why not? When there are this many choices for sandals on the market, there is an option for every occasion.

If you’re looking for a new pair of flip-flops to complete your wardrobe, check out the huge selection at Hansen’s Surf. With hundreds of options to choose from, you’ll be sure to be flippin’ and flappin’ down the street in no time.