meaning “gloves.” According to the best Dutch authorities, the word is a corruption of the French gant, Italian quanto, our “gauntlets.”
“Wanten are worn by peasants and working people when the weather is cold. They are in shape somewhat like boxing-gloves, having only a thumb and no fingers. They are made of a coarse woollen stuff” —Teding von Berkhout: Letter from Breda.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894