The 'Trees versus Glades' thread has me thinking... dangerous. Two very similar things, that may or may not, be the same thing. We've got two lexemes, might as well use 'em, right?
So, when I go skiing I wear a 'next to skin' layer that I refer to as a 'Base Layer'... but, when I'm not skiing I wear a 'next to skin layer' that I call 'Underpants'.
What's the difference? Is it simply context? My gut instinct is to say when I'm skiing there is performance involved, and a 'Base Layer' is made from 'performance fabrics', so it needs a flashy name that denotes it's seriousness... BASE LAYER! It just sounds important, like a foundation... hmmm... 'Foundation Layer' sounds super important, who would even dream of going out into the unforgiving wild without a proper 'Foundation Layer'??? No one, that's who. Tell someone who wants to stay warm while skiing they should start with a good base layer and they may or may not listen. tell them they need a good 'Foundation Layer' and you'd have their full attention. I think I may be onto something here.
On the other hand, casual clothing get the nice casual sounding 'underpants'. Heck, that's too formal sounding, why not just go with 'undies'... or if you are feeling really frisky, go with nothing at all! It's casual, get comfortable, why not? Relax. On the other other hand, unless you've been in a committed relationship for more than 10 years, you've got at least one pair of 'Special Occasion' underpants. Don't look at me like that, you do. That pair you put on when you think/hope someone new will be seeing them... seriously, stop judging me, you know exactly what I'm talking about. How is that not a 'Performance Base Layer'?
... here's the issue I have: I can buy 'performance fabric' boxer shorts. So what gives? Is that a 'Base Layer' or 'Underpants'?