Why are they called temples on eyewear?

The term “temples” in eyewear refers to the arms or sides of the glasses that extend from the frames over the ears to secure them in place on the face. The choice of the word “temples” for this part of eyewear is rooted in historical language and design.

In ancient times, eyewear did not have the advanced materials and designs that we have today. Instead, early eyewear was often held in place by using a cord or ribbon that looped around the ears. These cords were reminiscent of the temples of a temple complex, where the columns extended outwards from the main building structure.

As eyewear design evolved and frames became more intricate and self-supporting, the term “temples” stuck. The resemblance between the arms of glasses and the columns of temples created a lasting association, and the term became commonplace in eyewear terminology.

The temples of eyewear serve several important functions:

  1. Securing the Frames: They play a crucial role in keeping the eyewear in place on the face. They prevent the glasses from sliding down the nose and ensure a comfortable and stable fit.
  2. Adjustability: Many modern eyewear designs allow for the adjustment of the temples. Opticians can bend the temples to adjust the angle and pressure, customizing the fit for each individual wearer.
  3. Comfort: Well-designed temples distribute the weight of the frames evenly over the ears, reducing pressure points and discomfort during extended wear.
  4. Fashion and Style: They are also an essential part of the overall aesthetics of eyewear. They can come in various materials, colors, and patterns, allowing wearers to express their personal style.
  5. Hinges and Mechanisms: The temples often incorporate hinges that allow the glasses to be folded and unfolded easily. This is particularly important for storing and carrying eyewear.

In summary, the term “temples” in eyewear refers to the side arms that extend from the frames over the ears, securing the glasses in place. The historical association has contributed to the enduring use of this term in eyewear terminology. Whether you’re selecting a new pair of glasses for fashion or function, understanding the terminology can help you make an informed choice.


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