zoot suit

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A soldier and two men wearing zoot suits in Washington D.C. in 1942

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Zoot may be a Caló slang pronunciation of suit, thus making the term a tautology and reduplication.


zoot suit (plural zoot suits)

  1. An outfit featuring a suit with broad shoulders, a long coat, and baggy trousers that taper to a tight fit at the ankles.
    Synonyms: (dated AAVE slang) drapes, zoot
    Meronym: pegged pants
    • 2003, Terry Castle, London Review of Books, 18 Dec.:
      Dexter Gordon was an idol around Central Avenue. He was tall. He wore a wide-brimmed hat that made him seem like he was about seven feet tall. He had a stoop to his walk and wore long zoot suits, and he carried his tenor in a sack under his arm.
  2. (UK, military, slang) Synonym of goon suit (waterproof rubber suit for pilots)
    • 2019, Ellin Bessner, Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War II
      Before his nap, Kaplan had put on all his clothes, including the wool-lined waterproof double-zippered survival suit nicknamed the zoot suit.

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