A 'pannier' is a basket, bag, box or similar container, carried in pairs either slung over the back of a beast of burden or attached to the sides of a bicycle or motorcycle. The term derived from the old French 'panier' meaning 'bread basket'. In 2005, 'panniers' on llama were used to transport waste in a U.S. national park. These traditional 'panniers' for animal transport were typically made of canvas, leather, or wicker. The modern 'panniers' are loaded in such a manner as to distribute weight evenly on either of the animal or bicycle or a motorcycle. The first 'panniers' designed specifically for bicycles were patented by John B.Wood of Camden, New Jersey, in 1884. The modern 'panniers' was invented by Hartley Alley (1919-2001) of Boulder, Colorado, in 1971. Motorcycle 'panniers' are generally hard box containers.

The 'panniers or side hoops' ('pannier'-clothing) are undergarments worn in the 17th and 18th centuries to extend the width of the skirts at the side while leaving the front and back relatively flat. The style originated in Spanish court dress of 17th century, familiar in Portraits by Velazquez, who was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV.

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