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Thoughts Like Music
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Football Strip 
23rd-Jan-2010 11:07 pm
Hello all.

Apparently my Google-fu is very weak as I've been Googling various iterations of this question for a while and getting no where. Also, questioning one Londoner, one near-Glaswegian, one ex-resident of Surrey, and two Aberdonians has yielded no in-person answers either.

Thus, I ask:

Why is it called strip?

The word is obviously more or less synonymous with 'kit' or 'uniform'. Looking at various dictionary type sites tells me that 'strip' can mean the uniform of a sports team...which leads me to a big, 'duh'.

However, I know why one would call the clothing worn by sports teams 'uniform'. It is 'of one appearance/shape'. I also see why one would say 'kit', although kit includes a uniform/strip as part of it, it's not directly equivalent.

But, why strip? The closest I can come to an answer is that perhaps the distinguishing part of uniforms in British football originally was a stripe/strip on the shirt. But, that's a stab in the dark.

So, to clarify. I know what 'strip' is. But, what's the background to the word?

Cheers, my dears. :)
23rd-Jan-2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
I would have a guess at either stripe or the fact that you 'stripped' to play in a specific kit, rather than just wearing a jersey and the trousers you wore to work... I haven't got OED access here but doesn't it give some etymology?

You might email the guy behind this site who is bound to know.
23rd-Jan-2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, now you've got me thinking. Do update if you get a good answer!
24th-Jan-2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Will do. :)
24th-Jan-2010 12:26 am (UTC)
I was going to guess at stripe, too. I'm curious, now :)
24th-Jan-2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
It's such a basic thing that it took this long for me to think to ask. :)
24th-Jan-2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
I emailed to ask if he'll give us an answer. Cheers!
24th-Jan-2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Excuse my ignorance... but what actually do you mean by a "strip"? I assume you're not talking about the act of taking ones clothes off and swinging them above ones head?

Although thats fun too :P
24th-Jan-2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Apparently football uniforms are called 'strip' in the UK. Which led to my big, 'well, why?' question.

And yes, it is fun too. ;)
24th-Jan-2010 05:51 am (UTC)
Uniform stripes, and that strip means to disrobe... so it would also be a pun a little.

Mostly from "putting on your stripes" being for military uniforms, and the game vs war metaphor is not lost on most people.
24th-Jan-2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Any references on that?

I mean, I figured something similar myself, but I may be making a false connection...
24th-Jan-2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
It doesn't say here, but I'm thinking it comes from stripe.

It's long but fairly interesting.
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