A jerkin

Etymology 1Edit

First recorded in early 1500s. Possibly related to Dutch jurk (dress), itself of unknown origin and not attested before the 17th century. Derivation from Old French jo(u)rne (day) has been suggested.



jerkin (plural jerkins)

  1. (historical) A type of men's garment popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: a close-fitting collarless jacket, with or without sleeves.
  2. A sleeveless jacket, usually leather; a long waistcoat.
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, p. 32:
      A tall and very good-looking kid in a jerkin came out of the store and rode the coupé off around the corner and came back walking, his glistening black hair plastered with rain.
    • 1952, Daphne Du Maurier, “Monte Verità”, in The Apple Tree:
      I booked a room at the small hotel and deposited my luggage there. I bought myself strong boots, a pair of breeches, a jerkin, and a couple of shirts. Then I turned my back upon the town and climbed.
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See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit


jerkin (plural jerkins)

  1. Alternative form of gyrkin

Further readingEdit