Nomenclature[ edit ] The origin of the word thong in the English language is from Old English thwong, a flexible leather cord. Another common name is tanga or sometimes string tanga , especially in the German Tanga. A frequent metaphor, especially in Brazil, is dental floss; in Brazil a thong is called fio dental Portuguese for dental floss ; in English, the term "Butt floss" is sometimes used. Shorts means "briefs" and "bandi" means "with a string". A Puerto Rican Spanish slang term, used by Reggaeton artists, is gistro. Australians often colloquially refer to the G-string as a g-banger or simply banger.