A sheath made of thin rubber and worn over the penis during sexual intercourse, either to prevent conception or as a prophylactic measure. Etymology: Of unknown origin; often said to be the name of its inventor, although this theory has never been proved. History and Usage: The word has been used in this sense in English since the early eighteenth century. It is included here only because it acquired a renewed currency--and a new respectability--in the language as a direct result of the spread of Aids in the 1980s. Whereas sheath or trade marks such as Durex were the only terms (apart from slang expressions) in widespread popular use in the UK immediately before the advent of Aids, it was condom that was chosen for repeated use in government advertising campaigns designed to explain the concept of safe sex to the general public in the mid eighties. Soon the word had become so widespread that there were even reports of schoolchildren who had invented a new version of the playground game tag in which the safe area was not the 'den' but the condom. The pronunciation with full quality given to both vowels /--/ belongs only to this twentieth-century use (in the past it had been pronounced /--/ or /--/, to rhyme at the end with conundrum) and possibly reflects the unfamiliarity of the word to the speakers of the government advertisements. In 1988 there was an attempt to introduce a condom for women to wear; meanwhile, the buying of the male version was presented very much as a joint duty for any Aids-conscious couple. This emphasis in advertising, as well as the generally permissive attitude to sexual relationships of any orientation in the eighties, led to the development of the nickname condom culture, used especially by those who favoured stricter sexual morals. More women should buy, carry and use condoms to help stop the spread of Aids, according to the organisers of National Condom Week, which starts today. The intention is to encourage people to get used to buying and carrying the contraceptives without embarrassment or inhibition. Guardian 7 Aug. 1989, p. 5 The government has promoted a 'condom culture' of sex without commitment as part of a dismal record on support of family life, the National Family Trust claims today. Daily Telegraph 11 Aug. 1989, p. 2 Everyone on the docks has...condoms...Pull a kid aside...and he'll tell you he doesn't need them...Does it sound to you like I need to put on a bag? Village Voice (New York) 30 Jan. 1990, p. 34

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.