Jerseys from Jersey?

Where did the name for a hockey or sport jersey come to be? Was NJ the first state to wear uniformed shirts in sports back in the day when the American Indians were playing Lacrosse in Hackensack?

I imagine that the word jersey, which in England is still used to refer to a ‘fishermans jersey’, comes from the channel island of Jersey or possibly a ship named after the island.

The original jersey was a pullover sweater. Made from wool. From sheep. From Jersey. (Not New Jersey; Jersey the island).

I guess I imaginaed a more entertaining answer than that…thanks anyway.

I guess I imagined a more entertaining answer than that…thanks anyway.

MC Master of Cermonies and Nametag are right. Where I come from there’s another colloquialism for the pullover sweater – gansey – which is a corruption of Guernsey (another Channel Island).

^ Sorry, I had to correct myself…

Interesting - that’s the Irish word for it too: geansai’. I never realised the connection with Guernsey until now.

And in Norwegian it’s genser. Maybe related?

Are the terms Guernsey & Jersey as a pullover/sweater/jumper identical or is there originally some difference in the garment?

Of course, coming from an agricultural background where Guernsey & Jersey are most commonly known as breeds of dairy cattle I was always a bit suspicious that the term “pullin’ on a Guernsey” i.e. play for a sports team didn’t have some derivation in beastiality. :eek

Yes, it is related.

Here’s a website on the history of sweaters:

As you can see, it appears that the Channel Islands (which include Jersey and Guernsey) are one of the earliest sources of sweaters. I presume that Jersey and Guernsey at least at one time were also known for their sheep and not just their cows. (Are there lots of sheep there now?) Apparently both terms “jersey” and “guernsey” later became generalized so that they could refer to any tight-fitting upper garment, not just a sweater.

Since “where I come from” is Liverpool, it’s perfectly possible that we got gansey from Ireland rather than directly from the Channel Island. It’s not as commonly used as jersey and I haven’t heard it used elsewhere in the UK at all.

Yes, there are sheep in the Channel Islands - they eat seaweed bizarrely enough. There used to be an Alderney cow too (named after another island), but they died out during the occupation of the 1940s.

related to the comments about jersey cows
are the
jumper and the pullover