PANNIER (Fr. panier, Lat. panarium, a basket for carrying bread, panis), a basket for carrying bread or other provisions; more especially a broad, flat basket, generally slung in pairs across a mule, pony or ass for transport. The term has also been applied to an overskirt in a woman's dress attached to the back of the bodice and draped so as to give a " bunchy " appearance. At various times in the history of costume this appearance has been produced by a framework of padded whalebone, steel, etc., used to support the dress, such frameworks being known as " panniers." At the Inns of Court, London, there was formerly an official known as a " pannier man," whose duties were concerned with procuring provisions at market, blowing the horn before meals, etc. The ofiice has been in many of the inns long obsolete, and was formally abolished at the Inner Temple in 1900. At the Inner Temple the robed waiters in hall have been called " panniers," and apparently were in some way connected with the officer above mentioned, but the proper duties of the two were in no way identical.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)