1 a shoe for a child or woman that has a strap around the ankle
3 an ornament worn around the ankle [syn: ankle bracelet]
An anklet, ankle chain, or ankle bracelet, is an ornament worn around the ankle. Anklets historically have been worn for centuries by unmarried women in India, though in the United States both casual and more formal anklets became fashionable in the late twentieth century. While in western popular culture both younger men and women may wear casual leather anklets, they are more popular among customly barefoot women, and more formal anklets (silver, gold, beads) are almost exclusively confined to these women's fashions.
Much more rarely, the ankle chains are joined by a stretch of chain to limit the step. This practice was once more prevalent in the Middle East, where the effect was to give a 'feminine' short tripping step. Today a few western women follow this practice, but rarely in public. A very few people even have 'permanent', e.g. soldered-on, ankle chains, and more rarely still, so is the connecting chain.
As an ornamentAnklets can be made of silver, gold, and other less precious metals as well as leather, plastic, nylon and other such materials. In the western world anklets or ankle chains are mainly worn by younger females, but some older women also wear them.
Metal anklets are of two types - flexible and inflexible. The flexible ones, often called pajeb or jhanjhar in India, are made by tying links in a chain. Subsequently, sonorous bells can be attached to the chain, so that the wearer can make pleasing sounds while walking. Inflexible ones are usually created by giving shape to a flat metal sheet.
Left or right?Most anklets seem to be worn on the right ankle. Perhaps this is due to more people being right-handed. Although in eastern cultures, anklets are worn on both ankles. Right ankle may indicate a "hotwife" or cuckold's wife, though this is not universal by any means!
In scuba divingScuba divers sometimes wear lead anklets to stop a tendency for their legs to float up when diving in a drysuit.
anklet in German: Fußkette
anklet in Italian: Cavigliera