A G-string is a type of underwear akin to a thong. Its most identifying feature is the tiny strip — quite literally, a string — of fabric that runs between the wearer's buttocks and attaches to a band around the hips. A G-string can be worn by men or women but is generally more popular among women. It does not cover much when compared to a standard pair of women's panties, but wearing a G-string gets rid of the dreaded panty line — the line that tells others exactly where a woman's underwear is — under thinner fabrics and tight clothing. Some swimsuits also have a G-string design, with the bikini bottom similar in appearance to that of G-string underwear.
G-strings started as undergarments for the men in various African tribes. Sumo wrestlers and the fictional character Tarzan also wore variations of the garment. When they started becoming more mainstream, strippers were the most likely people to wear a G-string. The undergarment has since become even more mainstream and popular.
One of the few things the G-string leaves to one's imagination is the origin of its name, though there are a couple theories. The first is that Native Americans called the loincloth-type garment they wore a "geestring." It is believed that, as the English settlers moved in, they altered the name of the garment and eventually took over its use.
Another theory is that the underwear got its name by shortening the term "girdle string." That term was mentioned in a 19th century book as a garment boys wore around their waists, one similar to the loincloth. A girdle was a garment women wore to keep their bellies tucked in tightly. Yet another theory holds that the underwear got its name from the G string, the lowest string on a violin. It compares the underwear to the string's position on the instrument.
G-strings aren't for everyone, but many people say they are comfortable underwear. They are lightweight, and the string in the back is so small that many people say it's like not wearing underwear at all. For some, that's more of a turnoff than a selling point, but others appreciate the comfort and relative invisibility. Other types of underwear that are similar include V-strings, T-strings and the strapless C-string, all members of the thong underwear family. All of them are similar in design, with the majority of the fabric in the front and a only small triangle of fabric, if that, in the back.