The One Sock

Started by Evelyn with contributions by Arthur, Ashlyn, Daisy Gold, Daughter of Kings, Dinledhwen, Durin the Deathless, Eruvanne, Frodosmiss, Lady of Light, Laiquendi, Legolas, Luthiena, Maggot Farmer,  Ninel, Pi, Primula, sarahstitcher and Wanderer.

One sock to rule them all
One sock to heat them
One sock lost in the wash
It seems this will de-feet them.

The sock is seeking to return to the feet of its Master... it wants to be found.

Life in the wide world goes on much as it has this past age, full of its own comings and goings. Scarcely aware of the existence of socks... for which I am very thankful.

Because it is my birthday, my love, and I wants socks.

Bucklebury stockings! Runs!

Frodo's feet were chilled to the marrow. After a while the song became clearer, and with his heart in his feet (which warmed them up considerably) he perceived that it had changed into an incantation:

Cold be feet by socks untoe'd,
and holed be cloth never trod;
never more to walk on booted feet,
never, till socks fail and soles are dead.
In the black socks the fleas shall lie,
and still by cat-drops let them die,
till the dark lord lifts his foot
into red stockings gone kaput.

'But that can only mean wearing the Old Socks!' said Fredegar horrified. 'You can't be thinking of doing that. It is quite as dangerous as Black Riders.'

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow;
Bright blue one sock is , and his other sock is yellow.

"Socks" Gimli said under his breath, as he pulled one onto his foot. His expression quickly changed, and he pulled on several layers at once.
"No more, no more!" cried the Elves laughing. "You have enough padding already for a long day's march."

My socks are old, Gandalf. I know they don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart. They feel thin. Sort of stretched, like butter, scraped over too much bread. I need a new pair. A very thick pair. And I don't expect I shall return with them. In fact, I mean not to.

"I can't abide changing my socks, " said he, "not at my time of life, and least of all changing my socks for the worst." "Changing socks for the worst," he repeated many times.

"Who's that? Be off! You can't come in. Can't you read the notice: No admittance without socks?"

Faramir turned to the man at his side. 'Now, what would you say that is, Anborn? Argyle, or nylon? Are there black wool socks in the night-pools of Mirkwood?'

For 60 years the socks lay quiet, in Bilbo's keeping, ponging his life, decaying in their old age. But no longer, Frodo. Evil is stirring in Mordorrr.The socks have awoken. They have heard their master's call.

"Hear now the words of the Heir of Isildur! Your missing socks are found. Go back and trouble not the valley laundromats ever again! Depart and be at rest!"

And thereupon the King of the Dead stood out before the host and paired his socks, and pulled them on his feet. Then he bowed low and turned away; and swiftly the whole grey host drew theirs on and turned away and vanished like a ball of lint that is driven back by a sudden wind.

Gondor has no socks. Gondor needs no socks.

'Two socks are missing.' he said, 'and one is certainly Sam's: it was rather large and heavy.

I do not know the history of Socks. They appeared first after the Great Feet came over the Sea, but if they came with the Feet I never can tell.

The sock cannot be dried, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft we here posess. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the firey dryer from whence it came!

The sock came to the creature Gollum, who took it deep into the tunnels of the Misty Mountains. And there, it consumed him.

"The hour is later than you think. the Nine Shoes have left Minas Shoegul."
"the Nine?"
"They will find the Sock, and stomp on the one who carries it."

There was also a strange Elf clad in one green sock and one brown sock, Legolas, a messenger from his father, Thranduil, the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood.

They will timble against these walls like socks in the washer! but within these walls, we will outlast the spin cycle.

There must have been a couple of hundred of the dirty socks in this place. A bit of a tall order for Sam Gamgee, as you might say.

3 socks were givento the Elves, wisest and fairest of all beings. for they rarely used socks of any kind.
7 to the Dwarf Lords, great miners, and craftsmen of the mountians, for their feet would often become dirty from the dusts of their mining.
And nine, 9 socks were gifted to the race of men, who above all else, desire footwear.

Ho! Ho! Ho! to my socks I go,
To keep my feet and warm my toe.
Shoes may fail, and bleach may pale,
And many holes upon them hail,
But under the clothesline I will lie,
And watch my socks go flying by.

The women of my land learned long ago that those without socks can still wear shoes

Fungus. Ever has it grown on the feet of my forbearers. Now it shall cover the inside of my socks. Alas that these evil days should be mine. The young socks perish, and the old smell lingers. That I should live to see the last days of my socks.

Unless, of course, you give heed to rhymes of old days which women such as our good Ioreth still repeat without understanding:

When the black dirt blows
And the shoe-blister grows,
And wet winds pass,
Come socks! come socks!
Knits for the drying,
On the king's feet laying!

It is but a doggerel, I fear, garbled in the memory of old wives.

where is the sock and the dryer?
where is the shoe horn that was blowing?
they have passed like lint in the dryer
like soap in the washer
they have lost their color, and fallen into shadow

White, Grey-all these socks have taught you to say so. For themselves they may be wearable. These blue socks and green socks and purple socks, they would come to bleach perhaps. Yet often I doubt if they are fixed and not merely patched. But each to his own sock. True-woolen Socks, they will not be torn. We of Minas Sockith have been starched through long years of washing. We do not desire the socks of wizard-lords, only socks to defend ourselves, socks in a just cause. And behold! in our need chance brings to light the Sock of Power. It is a gift, I say; a gift to the socks of Mordor. It is mad not to use it, to use the sock of the Enemy against him. The spin, the rinse, these alone will achieve victory.

The sock is not yours save by unhappy chance. The sock might have been mine. The sock should be mine. Give the sock to me!

Now I see your mind. You will take the Sock to the Dryer and dry us all. You have only waited your chance to leave us in the spin cycle. Curse you and all the colored socks to bleach and whiteness!

What have I said? What have I done? Frodo, Frodo! Come back! A rinse took me, but it has passed. Come back!


Out of washer, out of dryer, to the day's folding
feet went walking out the door, toes uncovering,
Caluses they had, and in dirt walked;
over sticks, over stones, over streams blocked
out of socks, out of hope, until ended story.

Grey as a mouse,
Big as a house,
Looks like a snake,
Spread dirt when I shake,
I picked up some grass,
Noses plug when they pass.
With a leg in my mouth
I'm not worn in the south,
I am people's fears
Beyond count of years
I smell round and round,
Always lie on the ground,
Always passed by.
Dad's socks am I,
Smelliest of all,
Huge, old, and in the hall.
If ever you've smelt me
You'd want to forget me.
If you never do,
You won't think I'm true;
But Dad's old socks am I,
And I'll always lie
Here in the hall.

'They say in my land that you can smell his socks in the Mountains of Shadow that stand upon the borders of Mordor. He has strange feet and strongly-scented footwear.'

'His hosiery has grown long indeed,' said Gimli,' if he can draw that stench down from the North to trouble us here three hundred leagues away.'
'His hosiery has grown long,' said Gandalf.


Do not trouble me with hoisery. I know their uses, and they are few. We have more urgent things to speak of. Elrond of Rivendell has called a meeting. He will not say why, but I have guessed it's purpose. It is rumored that the socks of the enemy have been washed!

Oh, yes? It's just the simple matter of crossing the Emin Sockyl, an impassible Labrynth of of razor sharp socks! And after that, it gets even better! Festering, stinking sweat socks as far as the eye can see.

All that are stinky are not socks
Not all those that cover feet are clothed
The old sock that is darned is not worn through
Deep shoes are not worn without stockings
From the dryer a lint ball will drift by
A dust bunny will smell of fabric softener
Renewed will be sock that was holey
The holeless sock again will be worn.

Nothing assailed the company nor withstood their passage, and yet steadily fear grew on the Dwarf as he went on: most of all because he knew now that there could be no turning back; all the paths behind were thronged by sock-puppets that followed in the dark.

In a hole in the ground there lived a sock. Not a nasty, dirty, wet sock, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, rough, synthetic sock that rubs and causes blisters: it was an egyptian-cotton sock, and that means comfort.

'Socks!' muttered Sam. 'I knew I'd want them, if I hadn't got them!'

You step into the road, and if you don't keep your socks, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

'That sock is about again, I'm afraid, Mr. Frodo,' he said. 'Leastways, if that wasn't it, then there's two of them. I went away to find some water to wash the clothes in and spied it floating round just as I turned back. I reckon it isn't safe for us both to wash our laundry together, and begging your pardon, but I can't hold down my hamper-lid much longer.'

Sauron is gathering his socks.

'Orc-gear's no good,' said Sam kicking his feet. 'I wish I'd got an orc's socks!'

'All right, I'll tackle Strider by the camp-fire: he's less testy. But why all this secrecy? I thought we'd washed his socks!'

...and upon their helmets, the emblem of the white sock.


 The tights were long, their stripes were green,
Their strands of nylon tall and fair,
But through a hole a foot was seen
And toes in shadow shimmering.
Tinuviel was dancing there,
Hoping the hole would stay unseen,
She tried to mend it with her hair,
But still her foot was glimmering.

Then Beren came from mountains cold,
His woolen socks all flecked with leaves,
And all the edges tightly rolled,
Plus extras for the borrowing.
He peered and found to his great shock
A maiden with green tights so old
Her foot stuck out; thus his socks
Soon covered foot, toes following.

It should have ended that day, but socks were allowed to endure. Isildur kept his pair. The line of kings have warm feet. But there's no strength left in the world of Men. They're socks were scattered, divided, loss.

Gloin looked at Frodo and smiled. 'You were very fond of Bilbo's socks, were you not?' he asked.
'Yes,' answered Frodo. 'I would rather wear his socks than all the fuzzy slippers in the world.'

She is sailing to the undying lands with what is left of her socks.

'Ah! the Sock!' said Boromir, his eyes lighting. "The Sock! is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt from so smelly a thing!'

'But tell me, what would you do with such a gift?'
'Treasure them, Lady,' he answered, 'in memory of your feet at our first meeting. And if ever I return to the weavers of my home, they shall be sprayed with imperishable stain-guard to be an heirloom of my house, and a pledge of good will between the Mountain and the Wood until the end of days.'
Then the Lady stooped to her ankles and drew off three pairs of golden socks, and laid them in Gimli's hand.

Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quite and good soft socks; a well-ordered and well-stocked sock drawer was their favourite haunt.

A Eruchin, ú-dano i hammatal a hyn, an uben tanatha le hammatal.

(well, I don't think it's "I gave socks to the Dunedain, I have kept no socks for myself", but that would have been my first guess.)

 A sock lies over hs tomb,
in Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But still the sunken socks appear,
in dark and windless washer-mere.
There lies his boot in water deep,
till Durin wakes again from sleep.
The shadow lies upon his tomb,
in Moria, in Khazad-dûm.
But still the sunken starrs appear,
in dark and windless mirrormere.
There lies his crown in water deep,
till Durin wakes again from sleep.


 There is a sock, a merry old sock
beneath an old grey shirt,
But this sock was ever so brown
That the Man in the Moon himself came down
and proclaimed it full of dirt.

This Man now has a tipsy cat
that sleeps in the washing basket;
But he didn't know where she'd stow,
Now squeaking high, now purring low,
and ended up blowing a gasket.

The Man also keeps a little dog
that is mighty fond of socks;
When there's good cheer among the guests,
He cocks an ear at all the jests
and laughs until he chokes.

'I don't like this at all,' panted Sam just behind. 'Socks are all right on a fine morning, but I like to be in bed when I wear them. I wish this lot would go off to Hobbiton! Folk might welcome them there.' Except on the high moors of the Northfarthing thick socks were rare in the Shire, and were regarded as a pleasant novelty and a chance for fun. No living hobbit (save Bilbo) could remember the Wooly Winter of 1311, when white woolen socks were blown all over the Shire from the explosion in the sock-mill on the Brandywine.


'How long is it since you saw your socks last, Boromir?' asked Aragorn.
'Half an hour maybe, he answered. Or it might be an hour. I have wandered for some time looking for them.' He put his head in his hands and sat bowed with grief.

I don't match half my socks half as well as I should like, and I wear less than half of them half as much as they deserve.

‘I was not sent to beg any detergent, but to seek only the meaning of washing,' answered Boromir proudly. ‘Yet we are hard pressed, and the Sock of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope - if such a thing could indeed return out of the shadows of the washing machine.'

This sock does not belong to one man, but to all.

'Then,' said Glorfindel, 'let us cast it into the washer, and so make the lies of Saruman come true. For it is clear now that even at the Council his feet were already bare and without covering. He knew that the Sock was not lost for ever, but wished us to think so; for he began to lust for it for himself. Yet oft in lies truth is hdden: in the Washing Machine it would be safe.'

Then Pippin cried aloud, for the Tube Sock of Echthelion, draped high atop the laundry pile, shone out against the dark clothes, glimmering like a patch of fresh snow, and the blue stripe around its top glittered as if it were wrought of crystals, and high and far he heard a loud buzzing as of the end of the dryer cycle.

'Heed the words!' said the other Elves. 'These socks are light-woven and they are crafty and unlike the socks of other folk. They will not fall to your ankles, worry them as you will; but they are wayward if mishandled. It would be wise if you accustomed yourselves to stepping in and out of them, here where there is a hosiery instruction book, before you set off downstream.'

The gift of softener comforted him much, not least because there would now be no need to wash his socks for some days. The others, too, looked more hopeful. Whatever perils lay ahead, it seemed better to get the socks smelling nice now than to plod forward with days-old underwear.

'Greetings!' said the lad. ' Where do you come from? You are a stranger in the city.'
'I was,' said Pippin. 'but they say I have the socks of a man of Gondor.'
'Oh come!' said the lad. 'Then we are all men here. But how many pairs have you, and what is your name? I have ten socks already, and shall soon have five feet. I have more than you.'


King of the Dead: That sock was unravelled!
Aragorn: It has been reknit! I have Isildur's trouser socks. Fight for me and I shall warm up your feet!
(facing the Army of the Dead) : Where's your socks? Where's your socks? Where's your socks?....

 'But for long years, we healers have only sought to patch the burn and itch made by athlete's foot of the men of swords. Thus we should still have enough to do without them; the world is full enough of foot fungi and callouses without smelly socks to multiply them.'

'It needs but one sweaty foot to breed a smelly sock, not two, Master Warden,' answered Éowyn. 'And those who have not socks can still retch from the smell of them.'

Farewell we call to boots and socks!
Though toes may freeze and feel like rocks,
We must be free of hosiery
Until they're stretched on darning blocks.

To Rivendell, where Elves yet stitch
Soft socks without that woolen itch,
Nice thick cotton, southern boughten,
And fancy edging for the rich.

With socks of white, a lovely sight,
Upon our feet thick-shod for flight,
Until at last our socks be worn,
Our journey past, the toe-ends torn.

We must buy socks! We must buy socks!
To cover feet from winter shocks!


An elven sock there was of old,
A stinking smell by day.
It's toe of white was hemmed with blue,
It's heel of silver gray.

A star was bound upon it's ankle,
A light was on it's toe.
As sun upon the golden shoe,
of Lorien the fair.


 'You see: Mr Treble, he married poor Miss Primula. She was our board's first sock on our mother's side (our mother being the youngest of the Old Board's mods); and Mr Treble was the second sock. So this board has its first and second socks, once removed either way, as the saying is, if you follow me.’

Not all that is old sock does stink
No eye that is lidless can blink,
The stubbed toe feels the most pain,
Darned sock does warm it again.
The light poking through every hole
Let's warmth gone away as if stole
The old sock re-sewn, not new bought
Will make whole the sock t'was once naught.

'I know what is the matter with me,' he muttered, as he sat down by the door. 'I need socks! I have not worn them since the morning before the snowstorm.'

The last thing that Pippin saw, as sleep took him, was a dark glimpse of the old wizard huddled on the floor, holding a pair of long, fluffy socks in his gnarled hands between his knees. The elastic for a moment snapped at his sharp nose, and then his feet were swathed.

The Uruks turn northeast, their taking the socks to the dry-cleaners!

'He gropes ever to see me and my socks. But still the door is closed.' She lifted up her white socks, and spread out her feet towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial.

'I have always understood," said Bilbo in a frightened squeak, "that dragons were softer down below, especially in the region of the - er - socks; but doubtless one so well-shod has thought of that.'
The dragon stopped short in his boasting. 'Your information is antiquated,' he snapped. 'I have no-run stockings both above and below with tummy control and reinforced sandal-toes. No blade can pierce me.'
'I might have guessed it,' said Bilbo.

He thought the sock was very beautiful, and very useful at need; and if anything was cold or chilly, it was himself. He said that it was "growing on his foot", and he was always worrying about it; but he did not suspect that the sock itself was to blame. Though he had found out that the thing needed looking after; it did not seem always of the same size or weight; it shrank or expanded in an odd way, and might suddenly slip off a foot where it had been tight.'


'Mithrandir! Mithrandir!' men cried. 'Now we know that the socks are indeed nigh!'
'They are upon you.' said Gandalf.

"Hold it up!" said Gandalf. "And look closely!"

As Frodo did so, he now saw fine threads, finer than the finest cotton, running along the sock, outside and inside: threads of a fibre that seemed to form the letters of a fuzzy script. They shone piercingly bright, and yet redarned, as if out of a great hole.

"I cannot read the fibrous letters," said Frodo in a quavering voice.
"No," said Gandalf, "but I can. The letters are English, of an antique weave, but the language is that of Morewarm, which I will not wear here. But this in the Common Tongue what is said, close enough: Abercrombie

With that he seized the great sock from Guthlaf his tailor, and he thrust such a foot within it that it burst asunder. And straightaway all the socks in the host were yanked up in earnest, and the donning of the socks of Rohan in that hour was like a covering of the plain and an adorning of the mountains.

They went round to the other side of the tree, and then Sam understood the click that he had heard. Pippin had vanished. The crack by which he had laid himself had closed together, so that not a chink could be seen. Merry was trapped: another crack had closed about his waist; his legs lay outside, but the rest of him was inside a dark opening, the edges of which gripped like a pair of socks.

Now Melkor came to Avathar and sought it out; and he put on again the socks that he had worn as the tyrant of Utumno: two pink stockings, tall and terrible. In that footwear he remained ever after.

Sam: What are you waiting for throw it in the fire!, just let it go!
Frodo: No the sock is mine!
Sam: NOOO!
[Sam is knocked out by Smeagol, a fight starts]
Gollum tries to bite all the way through Frodo's foot, however this takes so long that the Ringwraiths manage to get to Mt. Doom before he's finished.


Frodo found that Strider was now looking at him, as if he had heard or guessed all that had been said. Presently, with a wave of his hand and a nod, he invited Frodo to come over and sit by him. As Frodo drew near be threw back his hood, showing a shaggy pair of socks.

'Verily, this is a tube-sock of the line of Nimloth the fair; and that was a bootie of Galathilion, and that a knee-high nylon of Telperion of many names, Eldest of Socks.'

And while the world darkened and fear of dirty underwear fell on Middle-earth, as the washing power of Sauron grew and the pile of laundry rose ever taller and stronger, Arwen remained in Rivendell, and when Aragorn was abroad, from afar she watched over him in thought; and in hope she made for him a pair of great and kingly socks, with blue stripes and red letters, such as only one might display who claimed the lordship of the Númenoreans and the inheritance of Elendil.

'The socks of this place are dearly bought.'
Gollum dropped the pair from his hand. 'Don't want socks,' he said.
'The price is not set upon the socks,' said Faramir. 'Only to come here and look upon my feet bears the penalty of death.'

From all his dress-codes and webs of netting and treacherously cheap polyester, from all his strategems and shopping his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his buyers quailed, and his armies halted, and his captains suddenly sockless, bereft even of shoes, wavered and despaired. For they were forgotten. The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them was now bent with overwhelming force upon the Shoerack. At his summons, wheeling with a rending rip, in a last desperate race there flew, faster than a run, the Nylons, the Footwraiths, and with a tangle of elastic they hurtled southwards to Mount Shoe.

'Where have you been, my friend? Why weren't you at the laundry? The Lady Arwen was there.'
Strider looked down at Bilbo gravely. 'I know,' he said. 'But often I must put laundry aside. Elladan and Elrohir have returned from the mall unlooked-for, and they had stockings that I wished to wear at once.'

'Your fingers would remember their old strength better, if they grasped your socks,' said Gandalf.
Theoden rose and put his hand to his ankle; but no socks were on his feet. 'Where has Grima stowed them?' he muttered under his breath.

'I find it quite easy to believe,' said Merry. 'But you haven't got your socks home yet. And it doesn't seem to be going your way, whatever happens. If we come to Isengard, it won't be the great Grishnakh that benefits: Saruman will take all the socks that he can find. If you want any socks for yourself, now's the time to do a deal.'


Frodo and Sam, however, went back to ordinary attire, except that when there was need they both wore long grey socks, finely woven and clasped at the calf with beautiful garters; and Mr. Frodo always wore a white pompom on the garter that he would often twiddle.

"GrossSock! GrossSock!" cried the orcs at the gates of Minas Tirith. The great battering sock of the underworld was brought forth. Being stuffed with all sorts of disgusting things, it had the form of a sort of stinking demon.

'Lady,' the Warden answered, 'your socks are not yet mended, and I was commanded to darn them with especial care. You should not have put them on your feet for seven days yet, or so I was bidden. I beg you to take them back off.'
'They are mended,' she said, 'Mended at least in fibre, save the left sock only, and that only has one toe stick out.'

A door opened and in came Tom Bombadil. He had on no socks and his thick brown toe-hair was crowned with autumn leaves. He laughed, and going to Goldberry, took her washing basket.
'Where's my pretty socks!' he said, throwing out the clothes. 'Where's my long stockings in silver-green with flowers sewn around the ankles? Is the ironing finished? I see yellow shirts of honeycomb, and whitest white underwear, and crumpled hawaiian shirts; tea-stained ties, trousers big enough for armies, and green cummerbunds with extra elastic fitted. Is that enough for us? Are the socks ready?'
'They are,' said Goldberry; 'but your feet perhaps are not?'

The guard hesitated. 'Your socks,' he said to Gandalf. ''Forgive me, but they too must be left at the doors.'
'Foolishness!' said Gandalf. 'Prudence is one thing but discourtesy is another. I am cold. If I may not cover my feet with warm socks then I will sit out here, until it pleases Theoden to shuffle out himself to speak with me.'


Troll sat alone on the dryers top,
And tried to pair his one old sock;
For many a year he had kept it near,
For socks were hard to keep dry.
Warm dry! Stay dry!
On a dryer in the hills he dwelt alone,
And socks were hard to keep dry.

Up came Tom with his matching socks on.
Said he to Troll: "Pray, what is yon?
For it looks like the sock o' my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-coverin' his foot now.
His now! Where now!
This many a year has his sock been gone,
And I thought it was coverin' his foot still."

"My lad," said Troll, 'this sock I found.
But what be socks that lie on the ground?
Thy nuncle was gone as gone could be,
Afore I found his lost sock.
Poor sock! Lone sock!
He can spare a sock for a poor old troll,
For he didn’t miss his lost sock."

Said Tom: "I don't see why the likes o' thee
Without axin' leave should go makin' free
With the sock off the foot o' my father's kin;
So hand the old sock over!
Rover! Trover!
Though gone he be, it belongs to he;
So hand the old sock over!"

"For a couple o' pins," says Troll, and grins,
"I'll strip thy feet, and snatch thy socks.
A pair o' matched socks would be so sweet!
I'll get my socks from thee now.
Hee now! See now!
I'm tired o' havin’ just one old sock;
I've a mind to take your socks now."

But just as he thought those socks were caught,
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom took off his socks
And gave him a smell to larn him.
Warn him! Darn him!
A smell o' dirty socks up his nose, Tom thought,
Would be the way to larn him.

But number than stone is the schnoz and snout
Of a troll that sits on the dryers top.
As well as try to out stink a skunk,
For the nose of a troll don't smell it.
Propel it! Dispel it!
Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan,
And he knew his nose could smell it.

Tom's nose is dead, since home he came,
And his sockless feet are forever lame;
But Troll don't care, and he's still there
With the socks he snatched from their owner.
Donor! Stoner!
Troll's old seat is still the same,
And the socks he snatched from their owner!

Nonetheless the Stewards never sat on the ancient throne and they wore no shoes, and held no shoehorn.
They bore a white sock only as the token of their office.