According to Wikipedia, these South African "sweaters" are called "sweatshirts" in the rest of the world. What's the difference between a jumper, a pullover, and a sweater? A jumper is an item of clothing that essentially provides, all in one piece, a skirt and a bodice. Sweater — any knitted thing for the top of your body.
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Following on from a recent question , in Australia we have the word jumper for a knitted long-sleeved garment, typically woollen and long-sleeved. When cosuming foreign media I always assumed the terms pullover and sweater were the names of the same garment in either Britain or America but was never clear.
How much semantic overlap is there? Are any two or more terms used in the same region and if so how are they used differently? Or are is it purely down to regionalism? I'm also interested in other words that I may have overlooked which are synonyms of any of these three in some areas or some varieties of English. In fact some posters have mentioned jersey , which I have heard many times but I'm not sure if it refers to the same garment or something a bit different.
There is a lot of regional variation on the meanings of these words. In the UK this just refers to an garment you wear over your shirt for warmth. It doesn't have buttons, and it pulled over your head. In the US this has a completely different meaning. It is a type of girl's dress, a top, with attached shorts basically. Google will be happy to show you images. It has a kind of "little girl" sense to it kind of like pinafore, however, for sure adult women wear them too.
In the UK this is the same as a jumper, a garment you wear over your shirt, with no buttons, and is pulled over your head. In the US this is a similar item, however, a cardigan with buttons can also be called a sweater in the US. So in the UK it all means pretty much the same, however there are considerable semantic variations in the US. This is just based on my personal observation having lived in both countries.
I am sure there are lots of subtle regional variations. For example, in the UK the further north you go, the more likely you are to use jumper instead of sweater, and vice versa. Though pullover is pretty universal. In Chile, because of the influence of many immigrants from Britain, a sweater is ' una chompa ' — isn't that neat? Pullover is absolutely part of the wardrobe here!
But it needn't be wooly — it can be made of fleece synthetic or a lightweight cotton-jersey knit type thing with long sleeves. Has to pull over the head versus zipping or buttoning up the front. Sweater — any knitted thing for the top of your body.
Short sleeves, long sleeves, button front, pullover, hooded, etc. You specify the details. Sweater-vest, hooded sweater, turtleneck sweater, etc. Jumper — this is actually a dress no shorts attached—that is a jumpsuit as clarified above with no sleeves or collar; it is worn over a blouse or lightweight 'pullover' as we see in Catholic school uniforms here. The word jumper is not used for that particular garment in American English, so there's one difference for you.
As for pullover , I suppose that would be used to refer only to the subset of sweaters that one puts on by pulling them over one's head, which would exclude things like cardigans and some sweater vests. In the UK jumper, sweater and pullover are different names for exactly the same thing.
A cardigan has buttons. As others have said, all three mean the same thing in British English. What nobody else has mentioned yet is that we might also call such a garment a jersey.
Ireland is the same as BrE but we also have a gansey. Ganseys originated in Guernesy, jerseys in Jersey. A gansey-load of something is quite a lot, the amount you could carry in your gansey. My daughter and I worked on a fantastic definition of "jumper" together, and it didn't make it to a post because I hadn't logged in first. Here's my take on my own:. A jumper is an item of clothing that essentially provides, all in one piece, a skirt and a bodice.
It is sleeveless and, by definition, is meant to be worn over a blouse or turtleneck. The jumper can hang from the shoulders to the hemline OR it can have a waistband. One can pull the jumper over one's head or, in the case of my daughter's jumper, step into it - this depends largely on the neckline.
They can go down the back or on the side. A jumper is closed all the way around - since I just read this evening that a pinafore my guess for what the British would call our jumper is not generally closed in the back although it could have apron-string ties to keep it in place - thank you, Wikipedia. My daughter's jumper has a yoke-style top - that is it has a fairly open front; it has a waistband with both a zipper and button, on one side, for closure.
The combination of the wide opening down the front and the zipper allows her to step into the garment through the top; the zipper closes up and the button secures the waistband. A jumper is, in my opinion, worn more often by girls than by grown women.
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