A bonnet is any of a wide variety of headgear for both sexes—more often female—from the Middle Ages to the present. It is impossible to generalize as to the styles for which the word has been used any more than for the hat and cap, but there is for both sexes a tendency to use the word for styles in soft material and lacking a brim. Yet the term has also been used, for example, for steel helmets. This was from Scotland (in 1505), where the term has long been especially popular. Bonnet derives from the same word in French, where it originally indicated a type of material. In the 21st century, only a few kinds of headgear are still called bonnets, most commonly those worn by babies and Scottish soldiers. In addition, bonnets are worn by women as a Christian headcovering in some denominations.
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