Tuesday, November 20, 2007

“Sportcoat” or “Sportscoat”….little help?


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  1. landis smithers

    November 20, 2007 at 9:43 am


    sport coat. two separate words.

  2. Molly

    November 20, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I think either would work, but as two separate words (i.e., sport coat or sports coat.)

  3. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 9:47 am

    According to dictionaries, it can either be the singular one word, “sportcoat” or two words, pluralized, “sports coat.”

  4. Kit Halvorsen

    November 20, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Either sport coat or sprots coat, as supported by the OED.

  5. Steven

    November 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Good question, let me know what you find out!

  6. pearlescent

    November 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

  7. Allison

    November 20, 2007 at 10:07 am

    I’ve always known it as “sportscoat”.

  8. Night Editor

    November 20, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Sportcoat, one word.

    Love your site, Sart.

  9. Simone S.

    November 20, 2007 at 10:11 am

    The colloquial should trump here: Sportscoat.

  10. tobias

    November 20, 2007 at 10:18 am

  11. wordy

    November 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

    The usage of that term is colloquial so “sportcoat”, “sportscoat”, “sport coat”, “sports coat”, “sport jacket”, “sports jacket” are all correct in some sense. If I were you, I’d call up J. Press and ask someone there what term they use :-)

    Apologies if this is a duplicate post!

  12. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Great question, but the worst thing about it is the people who feel like they have definitive answers when it’s really just how people grew up.

  13. Wren Small

    November 20, 2007 at 10:40 am

    I’ve always gone with sport coat, personally.

    The word sport is used by different people as sport, even if referring to more than one sport, or sports, even if just referring to sport in general.

    I think either is acceptable and whatever comes naturally is best.

  14. Deb

    November 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

    I’d have to go with sport coat. I think all the old English novels talk about the gentleman wearing sport coats on the fox hunts.

  15. gak

    November 20, 2007 at 11:12 am

    “A white sportcoat and a pink carnation… “

  16. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    I wonder if this is regional like the soda/pop divide in America or is the utilization choice based on some other cultural demographic of which we are now unaware?

    It brings up the question of the relationship of blazer to sport coat. (All blazers are sport coats but not all sport coats are blazers.) It is my understanding that the blazer actually got its name from its participation in the sport of rowing- or maybe just boating. I think the Cambridge Lady Margaret Boat Club rowers were outfitted in “blazing” red coats.

    Anyway, based on the usage range posted so far, I suspect there is not a definitive answer unless someone wants to contact Wm. Safire and see if he is willing to venture into the fray!

  17. CurlyHairDay

    November 20, 2007 at 12:46 pm


  18. Elizabeth

    November 20, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    J. Press online says Sport Coats

  19. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    “odd jacket”

  20. oldog/oldtrix

    November 20, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    “Odd jacket.” In the early days of the lounge suit (the modern business suit), men often paired the jacket of their navy blue serge suits with white or gray flannel trousers to wear for casual occasions such as at a resort on vacation or to view spectator sports. Later, separate jackets, made up in fabrics (e.g., bold tweeds and bright colors) and/or with details (e.g., pleated and belted backs, patch and bellows pockets) not acceptable for business wear, began to be worn in such casual settings. The jackets were called “odd” because they did not have matching trousers to make up a suit. Because they were often worn to sporting events, they came to be called “sport” or “sports” coats or jackets. “Odd jacket” covers all permutations; however, I suppose that when I ask any employee under 50 at the typical men’s retail establishment to view the odd jackets, it is I that am viewed as odd. I do it anyway as I rarely wear such jackets to any sporting events, having sold off the polo ponies and the thoroughbreds.

  21. Jayce B.

    November 20, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Luckily, “Google” is a verb.

  22. Jayce B.

    November 20, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    PS… my vote goes for “blazer” because seriously does anyone care about “nautical origins” anymore?

  23. beandiva

    November 20, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I grew up in the South and always heard “sport coat”. Of course, I always heard “Walmart’s” too…But not from the same people!

  24. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    “sport coat” or “sports coat”

    Most people are searching for those online. Forget the traditional dictionary for a minute (and this from a trained journalist). In order…

    sport coat
    sports coat

    …where “sport coat” beats “sportcoat” with more than twice as many searches daily.

    So, tell us all about that “sport coat” you fancy – or all of your “sports coats” – Sart!

    Both your loyal readers, as well as some new ones that pick up on the term, will be interested in hearing what you have to say.


  25. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    In Ohio it’s clearly


  26. Anonymous

    November 20, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    sport coat
    odd jacket

    i would admonish using the term “jacket.” Traditionally on Savile Row, such garments are known as coats only.


  27. maxine

    November 21, 2007 at 5:16 am

    sportscoat without a shadow of a doubt! in melbourne, anyway. but doesn’t it roll off the tongue so much smoother than sportcoat?

  28. Magdalen

    November 21, 2007 at 9:11 am

    Re: oldog/oldtrix your comment makes me wonder whether the etymology of “sport coat” might not come from the other meaning of “sport” – something surprising and out of the ordinary, odd. Usually you see this meaning of sport in biology/genetics.

    I personally say “sports coat”, but I suspect it’s just a regional thing. Americans tend to talk about “sports” as a group of activities, and English people tend to talk about “sport”.

  29. Anonymous

    November 21, 2007 at 9:57 am

    In the same sense that classic roadster is sports car is not a sport car, a blazer is a sports coat not a sport coat.

  30. Anonymous

    November 21, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    In Australia we say “Sports Coat”… like sports car

  31. Andrew

    November 22, 2007 at 2:22 am

    Sportscoat is what I grew up with here in Texas… It just sounds better when said aloud.

    • Lord Fauntleroy

      December 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      If you’re a hillbilly. It’s sport coat. End of story.

  32. Anonymous

    November 23, 2007 at 6:27 am

    As a philologist, I consider that the correct one is sportscoat.

  33. Anonymous

    November 25, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I believe that blazers were named after the jackets worn by the crew on HMS Blazer for a visit by Queen Victoria. Like many other items of naval uniform, they leaked into the mainstream and are now considered very smart and not practical clothing. A sports coat (any variation) is from the shooting-type jacket – tweed with pockets. I got this from some mess dress regulations from the RAF.

  34. Anonymous

    November 26, 2007 at 12:25 am

    The Italians say “jacket”. Sportcoat is an American terminology, and is incorrect.
    You should adopt this change. It is a jacket and nothing but.

  35. Anonymous

    November 27, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    Linguistically this is a very interesting discussion! If (and I believe this is so) the original form of the compound is ‘Sportcoat’, then it would be very logical for the form ‘sportscoat’ to appear. The consonant sequence ‘tc’ is not allowed, so the ‘s’ is interjected to make it more salient. And as with all things in Language, as long as both are being used in everyday speech, and everyone knows what you mean, both are acceptable.

  36. Anonymous

    December 11, 2007 at 1:42 am

    Someone just go ahead and ask master Billy Safire already. . .

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