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HELP! In the UK a vest is a tank top...What does 'Vest' mean if you are Korean?

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I'm really stuck - I have a deadline for Monday (I only received the text this afternoon)...eeek!
#1 - October 14, 2011, 11:10 AM
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I think I have this figured out now - what we would call a waistcoat here in the UK is the equivalent of a vest. A waistcoat being a sleeveless button up jacket, part of a posh suit...

If you know this to be wrong, please correct me (it happens a lot)...

Max x
#2 - October 14, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Isn't a jokki a vest? In traditional Korean clothing?
#3 - October 14, 2011, 05:42 PM

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PS this word 조끼 is translated as vest in Google translate. You could try doing a search on that?
#4 - October 14, 2011, 05:44 PM

Is that what a waistcoat is? It always trips me up in British literature. I kept trying to imagine a coat for the waist - like a cummerbund. And here I felt so smug for finally getting the whole jumper/sweater thing. ;)
#5 - October 14, 2011, 05:45 PM
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As long as we're talking, what do the British call the sleeveless dresses that Americans call "jumpers"?

Or used to call jumpers. Come to think about it, I haven't seen any advertised for eons. But then, I don't exactly pore over fashion adverts.
#6 - October 14, 2011, 06:08 PM

Well the fall Lands' End catalog is advertising "the perfect jumper" so I think they're still around - and my kids have "jumpers" as part of their school uniform. I'd love to hear what the British call them, too!
#7 - October 14, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Ah--I've always wondered what a waistcoat was, too! I guess it's what we Americans call a vest. Speaking of, what are plus-fours?

I second the question about what a jumper (American) is in England, if that word is used for a sweater. (Do you have sweaters?)

And now I'm curious what a vest is in Korean. So confusing! Why can't we mean the same things with the same words?
#8 - October 14, 2011, 09:32 PM

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Just to confuse things further, here in Australia a 'vest' is another name for a singlet (a piece of underwear you wear on your top half), as well as a knitted sleeveless jumper/sweater, AND a button-up waistcoat.  :yup

ETA: Olmue - In Australia, we call sweaters 'jumpers' or 'pullovers'. But if someone said sweater, we'd all know what they mean.
#9 - October 14, 2011, 09:39 PM
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 09:41 PM by SarahE »
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As long as we're talking, what do the British call the sleeveless dresses that Americans call "jumpers"?

Or used to call jumpers. Come to think about it, I haven't seen any advertised for eons. But then, I don't exactly pore over fashion adverts.


That's a pinafore dress - as distinct from the pinafore (or pinny), which is a backless garment that functions, like an apron, to protect your clothes. (Think of those things later Victorian/Edwardian girls used to wear - white slightly lacy things over a plain dress. What are these called elsewhere?)

Olmue, plus-fours are those 1920s/1930s looking trousers that go halfway down the calf and then hang there baggily. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plus_fours

SarahE, here in the UK our vest is the same as your first Aus definition - sleeveless underwear for the upper half.

On the subject of long-sleeved things designed to be vaguely warm with no front zip/buttons ... Jumper is the main British term, but most people would recognise sweater. Jersey is an old-fashioned term for [knitted varieties of] the same.
#10 - October 15, 2011, 02:31 AM
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:34 AM by Emily G »

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Ah! That all makes so much sense now. Suddenly the fashion side of Harry Potter makes sense now, all the way down to the people running the World Cup. :) I'd heard of pinafores, too, but was clueless. Well, now I know. And if I ever have to buy clothes in England or Australia, I'll at least know what the ads are talking about.
#11 - October 15, 2011, 06:19 AM

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Olmue, plus-fours are those 1920s/1930s looking trousers that go halfway down the calf and then hang there baggily. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plus_fours

Aha! Crop pants for guys!
#12 - October 15, 2011, 07:57 AM

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But but but... don't you Ammies use the term 'wife beater vest'? Or do you just say 'wife beater'? (Such a horrible term.) That's what I think of as a vest - a top without any sleeves at all, and no collar. A waistcoat is different purely because it has buttons at the front, and you certainly wouldn't see a beer-swilling bottom-scratching wife-beating type (if there is such a person) wearing one!

I think the reason we don't use the term sweaters is down to weather. My theory is that way back, when people arrived in the US, they still used terms from wherever they'd come from but when they tried to wear their wooly clothes in the US summers, they had to start calling them sweaters, because well, they got awfully sweaty! We never used to have that problem in the UK.
#13 - October 15, 2011, 12:30 PM

Oh we have wife beaters! But those are specifically a white ribbed tank top that looks like underwear - bonus points if it's stained.

And we just say "wife beater". A tank top is a much broader term.

As for pinafores... um... if you're asking what we call a white lacey backless thing we use to protect our clothes, I suppose the answer would be we don't have anything like that, unless you mean an apron. And that's just something we'd only use to cook with - or to look awesome "as if we'd cooked" when our hubbies walk in the door.  :whistle

If it's for painting or something it's a smock, but then it's purely functional, not lacy or pretty and more of a big shirt.

So if you're looking at a sleeveless dress meant to have a little t-shirt under it, you'd call that a pinafore dress?
#14 - October 15, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Aha! So maybe a tank top (US) is a vest (UK)? Because a wife beater is definitely a vest in the UK, and what you describe sounds identical. No sleeves, no collar etc. A tank top in the UK is similar, it doesn't have sleeves/collar, but it would be a more substantial piece of clothing - it could be wool, for eg, and worn over a shirt. A vest is something you'd wear under a shirt or, if you're a woman and it's hot, you might wear a coloured one. (I just did a quick search on 'tank top' and it is indeed what I'd call a vest.)

As for pinafores. I don't think anyone wears the lacy backless type anymore, do they?! This is what I think of when I hear 'pinafore dress': http://us.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-Pinafore-Dress-in-Cord/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=1704744&cid=8799&sh=0&pge=6&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Wine&utm_source=google_product_search&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google_product_search&WT.tsrc=Google%20Product%20Search

A jumper (dress) I'd just call a sleeveless dress. But it seems to me that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pinnies/pinafore dresses/jumpers!

And just to confuse things, back in the 80s, I used to wear 'jumper dresses' which were, in fact, those wool dresses that are basically long sweaters. Presumably called 'sweater dresses' in the US.
#15 - October 15, 2011, 05:57 PM

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Yup, sweater dresses. Haven't thought about those in years!
#16 - October 15, 2011, 06:33 PM

So your picture is definitely a jumper here.
Something wool and sleeveless and worn over a shirt would for sure be a "vest" here.
If it's worn on it's own or under a vest it's a tank top.
And the kind that's worn as underwear or lingerie is a camisole. :)

It sounds like maybe vest and tank top are reversed!
#17 - October 15, 2011, 10:10 PM
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As for pinafores. I don't think anyone wears the lacy backless type anymore, do they?! This is what I think of when I hear 'pinafore dress': http://us.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-Pinafore-Dress-in-Cord/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=1704744&cid=8799&sh=0&pge=6&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Wine&utm_source=google_product_search&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google_product_search&WT.tsrc=Google%20Product%20Search

A jumper (dress) I'd just call a sleeveless dress. But it seems to me that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pinnies/pinafore dresses/jumpers!


I too think the lacy backless type are gone the way of yore. But sometimes are seen in flowery-style prints in cutesy gift shops. I did a quick search of etsy and saw a few. And re: pinafore dress - tbh I'd call it a sleeveless dress in conversation too, but all the shop labels seem to say pinafore dress.

WHY is a vest called a wife beater? That is a truly creepy term. Is it due to the type of people perceived to wear it ... ?
#18 - October 16, 2011, 02:15 AM

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Wife beater is offensive slang for a sleeveless or tank style undershirt. The origin is that men who beat their wives are stereotyped as wearing sleeveless undershirts as outerwear.

Do British men wear vests (as in undershirts/singlets!) much? I have observed that they wear them less than American men do, who almost always wear undershirts under anything but another T-shirt. 
#19 - October 16, 2011, 07:21 AM
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haha! Lots of info...Thank you :)

Men do wear undershirts/vests here in the UK but as more of a hot weather wear-it-on-its-own type of thing. As an undergarment then thats more of a kids thing - I think there's an unwritten law that anyone under the age of ten has to wear one at all times...

Wife-beater? What a horrible word!

A pinafore is a sleeveless dress that you wear over a blouse...Usually for a school uniform.

The word 'jumper' is used mostly for school jumpers (sweaters) but I've noticed that online shops refer to jumpers as sweaters now - but I understand that they're all the same thing.

Pumps is one that always gets me - here, pumps are gym shoes (not trainers, plimsolls - flat soled, velcro fastening things) - are they just any type of slip on shoes in the US? x
#20 - October 16, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Do British men wear vests (as in undershirts/singlets!) much? I have observed that they wear them less than American men do, who almost always wear undershirts under anything but another T-shirt. 

The one I'm married to sure does. And judging from our neighbors' washing lines, the ones I'm not married to do as well.
#21 - October 16, 2011, 11:46 AM

Pumps is one that always gets me - here, pumps are gym shoes (not trainers, plimsolls - flat soled, velcro fastening things) - are they just any type of slip on shoes in the US? x
I've always heard pumps used to refer to heeled dress shoes in the US.

Like so:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_shoe
http://shoes.about.com/od/glossaryofshoestyles/g/pumps_shoes.htm
#22 - October 16, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Wife beater is offensive slang for a sleeveless or tank style undershirt. The origin is that men who beat their wives are stereotyped as wearing sleeveless undershirts as outerwear.

Do British men wear vests (as in undershirts/singlets!) much? I have observed that they wear them less than American men do, who almost always wear undershirts under anything but another T-shirt. 

Thanks for explaining what wife beater means. eeeep!

I agree with maxi, I think that vests (as undergarments) are seen as things for if you're under 10 ... Or, also, well into middle-age?
#23 - October 16, 2011, 12:03 PM

pumps are high heeled shoes  - I feel like that term gets used less now that we have so many kinds of heels. But if a woman says, "I need a good pair of black pumps" she means heels. I usually think of pumps as serviceable heels for work, rather than really fancy dress shoes. But that's probably not set in stone.
We also don't say trainers. Shoes you work out in are "tennis shoes" "tennies"  usually but that may be regional. Sometimes you might just call them "running shoes"
#24 - October 16, 2011, 01:53 PM
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This is what we call pumps in the UK: http://www.mr-shoes.co.uk/Womens/G/trainers/--plimsolls/slip-on-plimsolls-black1.aspx

It's one of those N. American/UK differences that's SO different it could real problems! Like pants (UK speak for what you US people would call underpants). Biscuits (you wouldn't want an English biscuit with gravy, but you would a US one!). And so on.

I love that the English language can be so different. It makes life so much fun. Like when i asked the playgroup teacher if i could get a plaster for my daughter's grazed knee. She thought I was off my rocker, obviously. I didn't know the US term was band-aid!!
#25 - October 16, 2011, 06:05 PM

Ha! I had a British barista look at me askance when I asked for a nonfat latte. Then he said quietly, "skimmed, you mean skimmed..."
At least he knew what I meant. It is fun to see the language branch of and evolve. :)
#26 - October 16, 2011, 07:02 PM
Robin

pumps are high heeled shoes  - I feel like that term gets used less now that we have so many kinds of heels. But if a woman says, "I need a good pair of black pumps" she means heels. I usually think of pumps as serviceable heels for work, rather than really fancy dress shoes. But that's probably not set in stone.
I know people do think of certain kinds of heels as serviceable work shoes, but I just can't get my head around it because I've never been able to wear them, haha! They all seem like fancy shoes to me. (Okay, I'm sure I could tell the difference if I saw two pairs side by side. Er, but that is about the extent of my heeled shoe knowledge.)

We also don't say trainers. Shoes you work out in are "tennis shoes" "tennies"  usually but that may be regional. Sometimes you might just call them "running shoes"
Yep, or sneakers.
#27 - October 16, 2011, 09:25 PM
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