Another posh piece of clothing with an interesting name history is the ascot, that tucked-in necktie thingee you may have seen in paintings draped across the throats of 19th-century British gents. It always seems to be employed in movies to signify upper-class snobbery, too. The ascot is actually a type of cravat, which is really any type of neckwear worn by a gentleman.
The ascot, like a tie and a bowtie, evolved from the cravat during the 19th century, but the term ascot, specifically, comes from the men who attended the Royal Ascot Race which took place in a town outside of London called — you guessed it — Ascot. The cravat was part of the morning dress and was both a functional and decorative accessory.
Because the Royal Family regularly attended the prestigious events, men dressed to the nines and added the drapey "ascot tie," to their dapper duds. The piece of clothing became popular in the 1950s and the name was shortened simply to "ascot." Today the ascot tie is worn to spiff up casual looks, but can also be worn formally, as well [sources: Kelly, Croom and Flood].