spencer

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See also: Spencer

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From the family name Spencer. The jacket is probably named after George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834).

Noun[edit]

spencer (plural spencers)

  1. (now historical) A short double-breasted men's overcoat worn in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  2. (now historical) A short, close-fitting jacket primarily worn by women and children in the early nineteenth century.
  3. (now historical) A (usually woollen) vest worn by women and girls for extra warmth.
    • 1933, Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth, Penguin 2005, p. 34:
      I am seized with an angry resentment against the conventions of twenty years ago, which wrapped up my comely adolescent body in woollen combinations, black cashmere stockings, “liberty” bodice, dark stockinette knickers, flannel petticoat and often, in addition, a long-sleeved, high-necked, knitted woollen “spencer”.
  4. A large loose-fitted gaffsail on a square-rigger or barque, used from the nineteenth century onwards.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English spenser, spensere, from Anglo-Norman despenser or Old French espensier, from Latin dispēnsāre (to dispense, distribute; to manage). Equivalent to spence (buttery) +‎ -er.

Noun[edit]

spencer (plural spencers)

  1. (archaic) One who works in a spence or buttery.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Promptorium Parvulorum to this entry?)

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English spencer.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spencer m (plural spencers)

  1. spencer (garment)

Further reading[edit]