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90s Slang You Should Know


[jur-kin] /ˈdʒɜr kɪn/
a close-fitting jacket or short coat, usually sleeveless, as one of leather worn in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Origin of jerkin
First recorded in 1510-20; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for jerkin
Historical Examples
  • One of the rowers had but a single sleeve to his jerkin, and his hair was long and matted.

    The Golden Galleon Robert Leighton
  • I will wrap the tools up quickly in their bag, and slip them into my jerkin.

    Across the Spanish Main Harry Collingwood
  • Pray Heaven they have not found his late lordship; nay, I mind, I hid his lordship under a workman's jerkin, and—saints defend us!

  • A coachman in a jerkin, who stood nearest, sprang forward and snatched it up.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Above this he wore a shirt of the finest white linen, covered to the waist by a jerkin of leather overlaid with gold plates.

  • So, throwing it from him, he brushed the crumbs from his jerkin.

  • Pray Heaven they have not found his late lordship; nay, I mind, I hid his lordship under a workmen's jerkin, and—saints defend us!

  • Sim had crept up, and, standing behind Ralph, was plucking at his jerkin.

  • Did she not say that my jerkin fitted neatly when I did act as butler to her adorable Majesty three months syne?

  • He was plainly dressed, and wore a jerkin of leather and long boots.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for jerkin


a sleeveless and collarless short jacket worn by men or women
a man's sleeveless and collarless fitted jacket, often made of leather, worn in the 16th and 17th centuries
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for jerkin

1510s, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Dutch jurk "a frock," but this is a modern word, itself of unknown origin, and the initial consonant presents difficulties (Dutch -j- typically becomes English -y-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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