Sailor Speak of the Week – Oilskins

Definition

Noun

  • (AKA oil cloth) clothes treated with linseed, or other oils, to waterproof them.

Origin

Probably earlier than the 17th century.

Comments

The classic image of a fisherman in a yellow jacket, trousers, and a sou’wester hat. Modern oilskins can be a PVC-covered fabric or Gore-Tex. The point is that they’re waterproof and used in foul weather to keep you dry.

References

Rogers, J.G. (1985). Origins of Sea Terms. Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum.

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