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The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Spot the Frippet: jumper.

In Britain a jumper is likely to be what English-speakers in other places usually call a sweater:

File:"WIN" patterned sweater.JPG
believe it or not, this one was made for Gerald R Ford

As a word, the word jumper has the disadvantage that a jumper is nothing to do with jumping; but then do we really want to draw attention to the connection between a sweater and sweating?

Luckily there are universal sorts of jumpers. A boring tool which works by hammering itself into something hard (rock, usually) is a jumper; then we have jumper leads or jumper cables to coax recalcitrant car engines into life:

photo by oomlout

 a jumper can be a terrifyingly reduced form of sled:

Modern Jackjumper with shocks.jpg
photo by Michael Muir-Harmony CC BY-SA 3.0,

 or it can be (in Ireland) a person who changes his religion; or it can be simply something which jumps:

File:Horse and rider jumping over a hurdle - Show Jumping.jpg
photo by Revital Salomon

File:Flea (251 01) Aphaniptera; total preparation.jpg
photo from the archive of Josef Reischig

Or, of course, to see a jumper all you really have to do is creep up behind someone and shout boo!

But that would, I think, be unkind. And possibly cheating.

Spot the Frippet: a jumper. The garment word comes from the French jupe, from the Arabic jubbah, a long cloth coat. The leaping about word is probably an imitation of the suddenness of the action.

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