"Sweater" or "Jumper"? Understanding the British and American Usage
by varshell official on Apr 08, 2023
When it comes to the term "sweater" or "jumper," there seems to be some confusion on both sides of the Atlantic. While American dictionaries define a sweater as either a pullover or a cardigan, British dictionaries often include cardigans as a type of sweater but also use the term "jumper." So, which term is correct, and what do they mean in each country?
According to most British dictionaries, "sweater" and "jumper" are both hypernyms for both pullovers and cardigans. However, in American English, "sweater" refers specifically to both pullovers and cardigans, while "jumper" is not used at all. This can cause some confusion when communicating between the two English-speaking countries.
So, why the difference in terminology? It turns out that the word "jumper" has been used in British English since the mid-19th century, while "sweater" was first used in American English in the early 20th century. The origin of "jumper" is unclear, but some believe it comes from the word "jump" used to describe a loose jacket worn by sailors. On the other hand, "sweater" is believed to have originated from the sweat-absorbing properties of the garment.
Despite the different terminology, the two countries still share a common understanding of what a sweater or jumper is: a knitted garment worn to keep warm. So, whether you prefer to call it a sweater or a jumper, just make sure to bundle up during the cold months!
In conclusion, while there may be some confusion between the British and American usage of "sweater" or "jumper," both terms refer to a knitted garment worn for warmth. Understanding the origin and usage of these terms can help bridge any communication gaps between the two English-speaking countries.