Is hoodie a well-known term?

I use the word hoodie to refer to a hooded sweatshirt and use the word sweatshirt to refer to crew-neck sweatshirts. However, the majority of my clients use “sweatshirt” for everything when ordering. I always confirm what they’re actually looking for because they will simply use the term sweatshirt without specifying whether they want crew-neck or hooded, and it’s generally 50/50 as to which they want. Why they never open with, “hooded sweatshirt”, “sweatshirt with a hood” or, “hoodie” is a mystery to me. Sometimes I’ll say the word hoodie to them, use it on their order, and use it in email communication but no person has ever used it in return. Instead, the ubiquitous simple “sweatshirt” comes back, regardless of what they’re ordering.

So what’s up with “hoodie”? Is it a word you use and know other people use? Did it turn into a bad word without me looking? Is this just a mystery?

I think I became more aware of the term hoodie after that FLA shooting. Personally, I’d most likely refer to a hooded sweatshirt. If someone simply said sweatshirt, I would assume no hood. But I’m an old fuddy-duddy. :wink:

Is it a hoodie whether or not it zips up the front?

‘Hoodie’ has been well-known in the UK for some years as a separate item. Over here it’s associated with lower-class youths.

I personally use hoodie - if I have to differentiate “pullover hoodie” for pullover style vs “zip-up hoodie” for zip style - for any sweatshirt-material hooded jacket, but I could see people simply saying “jacket” for that as well. We get very few orders for those so I can’t say what the prevailing wind is for that style.

I think “sweatshirt” has always referred to anything made out of sweatshirt material and “hoodie” is more specific.

I asked my mom if she had a sweatshirt for me the other day when I was visiting, and she gave me a hoodie. Which is what I wanted.

I would not put it past my mom to ask for a sweatshirt when she wanted to purchase a hooded sweatshirt. It might not occur to her that whatever you are selling comes in hooded, zippered and crewneck styles.

Lots of times - say at a concert or a high school football stadium - your choice will be shirt, tank top or sweatshirt. No reason/way to indicate what kind of sweatshirt.

Hoodie is a term I’ve known for years. I can’t really recall when I first heard it, but I’m sure I remember it from at least 15 years ago. I think part of the issue is that it may be a bit of a generational thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my parents refer to a hoodie, even when they buy or wear one, it’s a sweatshirt or a hooded sweatshirt. So, I wonder if the familiarity with the term drops significantly above about 40 or so. And even for those younger, I know it’s a common term in some circles but less so in others, so maybe my familiarity is just because it happens to be common in some circles I know, but it’s less common outside of that.

In fact, as mentioned upthread by someone else, I wouldn’t be shocked if many people’s familiarity with it doesn’t go back much farther than the Treyvon/Zimmerman story and how much the term hoodie was used there. In fact, especially for those who learned about it around that time, they may have had the word tainted by association and, thus, not really like to use it.

Also, another part of the usage is that hoodie and sweatshirt aren’t synonymous, but in some situations can be. Maybe people know they want a sweatshirt but hadn’t really considered that whether or not it has a hood is an option. For instance, I’m most familiar with the term from merchandise at concerts; they’re almost always just hoodies, so in that context, they are synonymous, and I’ll see some labeled as hoodies and some labeled as sweats, but they almost always have hoods.

I use the word hoodie all the time and almost never use sweatshirt. Maybe it’s a regional thing, like sneakers vs tennis shoes? I’m in the Northeast.

Like Dinsdale, it showed up on my radar after the Trayvon Martin shooting. I may or may not have heard the term before that but I certainly didn’t use is. To me it sounds kind of childish. Thinking back, there was a brief period when white hooded pullover sweatshirts were the fad - possibly post Seniro Lopez- and we just referred to them as “white pullovers” because, of course, everyone had one so you knew what they meant.

Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, is often called “Coach Hoodie” for his preference for wearing hoodies with the sleeves cut off every game. The nickname is used nationally so it’s pretty commonly known.

I think Zuckerberg made it clear to me that a hoodie is different from a sweatshirt.

I agree with Zipper in that ‘Sweatshirt’ is the general term and a ‘Hoodie’ is a specific type of sweatshirt. I might refer to a hoodie as a sweatshirt, but I’d never call a non-hooded sweatshirt a hoodie.

I’ve known the term “hoodie” for 40 years, probably since I was 10 y/o or so.

Haven’t worn one in over 25 years. Now, I’d refer to it as a hooded sweatshirt. The term “sweatshirt” does not have a hood.

I’ve known the term for at least 20 years. It was always a neutral term, and article of clothing, in my experience. All of the kids in high school and college wore them. It wasn’t until the Trayvon Martin shooting that I found out some people had low opinions of the term and of the shirt (or an opinion at all, as if it were a ski mask).

My guess is that the term is well known, but when people are ordering something from an online shop (which is what I gather the OP does?) they think the term “hoodie” is not a technical enough term for the item they’re looking for, so they ask for a “sweatshirt” or “hooded sweatshirt.” I know that if I were to be searching on Amazon or someplace for a hoodie, I would probably search under “sweatshirt.”

I have known the word and thought it was common for 20 years or so. Hoodies are very popular with kids nowadays, and for the last twenty years. A hoodie is just a specific kind of sweatshirt, as others have pointed out. I am working in the teen section of my library right now. There are three teens sitting near me. Two are wearing hoodies.

I work at a shop that sells custom signs and promotional items, which includes custom-printed apparel.

I have occasionally had a person bring in a crew-neck sweatshirt and point to it saying, “I want 50 more just like this but with my new number below the logo”. Even then I have to confirm the hood or crew-neck point, at which point half of them tell me oh, yeah, with hoods please. So it seems like maybe people just don’t care a whole lot. Except naturally if I decided to stop caring for them, I’d get a whole lot of angry people calling back about how I ordered their sweatshirts without hoods…

[li]Hoodie: Pullover sweatshirt, with a hood, & a large, double-ended pocket in the front. [/li][li]Zippered sweatshirt: similar to above, but with a full-length zipper, which bisects the pockets.[/li][li]Sweatshirt: hoodie, zippered sweatshirt, or crewneck sweatshirt.[/li][/ul]

I use the term sweatshirt and have done so forever. My wife prefers the term hoodie.
A few years back our poor confused 6 year-old son was looking for his and asked “Where is my sweatie?”

Red hooded sweatshirt.

Dip dip dip


I know what the term (“hoodie”) means, and have heard it now and then. It’s not a word I use, since I’m old and not hip or cool enough to talk like the youngsters. If was was going to order one I’d say, “Sweatshirt, the one with a hood please”

I had never heard it before the Trayvon Martin thing. Now I hear it all the time.