AskDefine | Define anorak

Dictionary Definition

anorak n : a kind of heavy jacket (`windcheater' is a British term) [syn: parka, windbreaker, windcheater]

User Contributed Dictionary



Danish, from Inuit (Greenlandic) annoraaq. (1922)


  1. A heavy weatherproof jacket with an attached hood; a parka or windcheater.
  2. In the context of "UK|slang": A geek or nerd, originally a train spotter.

Derived terms


heavy weatherproof jacket


Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: Tenth Edition (1997)

Extensive Definition

''This article is about the article of clothing. For the colloquial meaning, see Anorak (slang).
An anorak or parka is a type of heavy jacket with a hood, often lined with fur or fake fur, so as to protect the face from a combination of freezing temperatures and wind.
This kind of garment, originally made from caribou or seal was invented by the Caribou Inuit, Inuit (Eskimo) of the Arctic region, who needed clothing that would protect them from wind chill and wet while hunting and kayaking. The word anorak comes from the Kalaallisut word anoraq, while the word parka is of Aleut origin. Certain types of Inuit anoraks have to be regularly coated with fish oil to keep their water resistance.
The words anorak and parka are now often used interchangeably, but when first introduced, they described somewhat different garments, and the distinction is still maintained by some. Strictly speaking, an anorak is a waterproof jacket with a hood and drawstrings at the waist and cuffs, and a parka is a knee-length cold-weather jacket or coat; typically stuffed with down or very warm synthetic fiber, and with a fur-lined hood. Originally an anorak specifically implied a pull-over jacket without a zipper, button or frogged opening, but this distinction is now largely lost, and many garments with a full-length front opening are now described as anoraks.
In the 1960s, the fishtail parka became a symbol of the mod subculture. Due to their practicality, cheapness and availability from army surplus shops, the parka was seen as the ideal garment for fending off the elements when on the mod's vehicle of choice, the scooter. Its place in popular culture was assured by newspaper pictures of parka-clad mods during the Bank Holiday riots of the 1960s.
In Britain, the word anorak is also a somewhat pejorative term for people whose interests are perceived to be nerdy, or who have more expertise in an arcane topic than seems rational.

See also

External links

anorak in Bulgarian: Анорак
anorak in German: Anorak
anorak in Spanish: Anorak
anorak in Esperanto: Anorako
anorak in French: Anorak
anorak in Italian: Anorak
anorak in Scottish Gaelic: Anarag
anorak in Hebrew: אנוראק
anorak in Dutch: Anorak (jas)
anorak in Japanese: アノラック
anorak in Norwegian: Anorakk
anorak in Norwegian Nynorsk: Anorakk
anorak in Polish: Anorak
anorak in Portuguese: Parca (vestuário)
anorak in Russian: Анорак
anorak in Slovenian: Anorak
anorak in Finnish: Anorakki
anorak in Swedish: Anorak
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