Part of speech: noun
Origin: Middle English, 13th century
A large storage basket made to be slung over the back of a pack animal or bicycle
Historically, a hoop frame used to hold out the side of a woman’s skirt
Examples of Pannier in a sentence
"She was dedicated to the commuter life and installed panniers on her bike to help carry her load."
"The costume designer made an authentic Marie Antoinette dress, complete with extra-large panniers."
Popularity Over Time
Modern-day panniers can be found strapped to the back of a bicycle and are made with nylon or another waterproof fabric. However, they weren't always so high tech. Panniers were just a pair of baskets strapped to either side of a horse, donkey, or other pack animal. Whether on bicycle or beast, they almost always come in a pair, because no one wants a lopsided pannier.
Did you Know?
You can carry anything you want in your pannier — or panniers, as they are usually found in pairs — but you’ll be most authentic if you fill it with bread. The origin of the word can be traced from Middle English back to Old French. If you remember your French lessons, "pain" means "bread" and a panier in Old French was a bread basket.