A bottom&top part of a tracksuit

interwrit

Senior Member
Polish
Hi there! :)

Generally a tracksuit is an sport article of clothing consisting of two parts: a bottom part (A) and a top part (B).

As far as A goes I've read that there are relatively many terms for that. Here we go:
  • chiefly in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa - tracksuit bottoms, joggers, jogging bottoms, fat pants and track pants,
  • chiefly in the U.S. (and probably Canada) - sweatpants,
  • chiefly in Australia - tracky daks.
Do you agree with that? And is there any adequate equivalent for B? A "sweatshirt" term or something like that?

Many thanks in advance! :)
 
  • JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Track suit isn't used much in AmE any more - jogging suit is probably a bit more common, at least among those of us who don't compete in track events, and I'd say these two are synonymous (at least they are to me). But they aren't synonymous with sweatpants and a sweatshirt (a combination sometimes referred to as a sweatsuit). Jogging suits are made of some sort of fairly thin man-made material, they are at least somewhat fitted, and the tops and bottoms match, while sweatpants and sweatshirts are made of a material sometimes referred to as fleece and sometimes as cotton jersey sometimes as some terms that I can't think of right at this moment.
     

    interwrit

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Oh, thanks, but doesn't the "jogging suit" term relate more to jogging? If you put it on you and go to some gym or to some soccer/baseball field, is it still a "jogging suit"? Isn't the "tracksuit" more proper term in this case? :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Your observation is right that there are lots of names for the many different kinds of tops and bottoms that might fall into the general category. I think the expectation that there is a uniform :)eek:) vocabulary is not going to be realized :( In the past, there might have been, but seeing clothing catalogues these days, I am struck by the sheer variety of styles and materials, as well as the names they go by.
     

    interwrit

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes, thank you :),thinking a little bit about it I came to a conlusion that it's indeed probably a wild-goose chase to try to find a one or two the best terms when there are lots of names around. :)
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Oh, thanks, but doesn't the "jogging suit" term relate more to jogging? If you put it on you and go to some gym or to some soccer/baseball field, is it still a "jogging suit"? Isn't the "tracksuit" more proper term in this case? :)
    It's a "jogging suit" no matter what you do whilst wearing it, just as a business suit is still a "business suit" whether you're wearing it to the office or to church.

    Many people put on jogging suits/sweatsuits and do exactly the opposite of what they are intended for. :D
    Some people even put on sweats and then sit around the house reading or mucking about on the computer. :)
     

    akimura

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I happen to be discussing a related topic in the Japanese forum. Thanks to the discussion there, I was able to reach this thread. Here, let me ask three questions which may not be fully to be answered in the Japanese forum.

    1. I understand that some schools in English speaking countries have PE/P.E. uniforms. Are they common in your countries? Is the term PE uniform or P.E. uniform okay and common?

    2. Do you have school PE tracksuit in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa? Do you have school P.E. jogging suits or school P.E. sweatsuits in the U.S.? How about Canada? Are they common in your countries? Are these terms okay and common?

    3. Do you have school PE/P.E. shirts and shorts? Are they common in your countries? Are these terms okay and common? Is there a term for a pair of PE/P.E. shirts and shorts, like tracksuit for a pair of trousers and a jacket?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    (I counted 11 separate questions in your post:eek: - so I'll only answer the "topic" of PE)

    Yes, in general answer, PE is a common abbreviation/initialism* for Physical Education. Clothes worn for such activities are likely to be called PE- this, that and the other. What those terms are will likely vary quite a bit, depending on what article of clothing is being referred to and across the English speaking world where PE is common.

    WRF dictionary wrote:
    PE abbreviation for
    • physical education
     

    akimura

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I apologize for the confusion, and thank you for your response, Julian. Your response seems to be about PE, which is like answering to one of even more questions of what school is, what PE is, what tracksuit is, what jogging is, what suit is, etc. :) I understand it's all my fault. In the meantime, from your reply, I think of the variety of the terms as given (which was not expected, though, because we have pretty much set phrases for PE clothes in Japan), so I take back all the questions for now.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I apologize for the confusion, and thank you for your response, Julian. Your response seems to be about PE, which is like answering to one of even more questions of what school is, what PE is, what tracksuit is, what jogging is, what suit is, etc. :) I understand it's all my fault. In the meantime, from your reply, I think of the variety of the terms as given (which was not expected, though, because we have pretty much set phrases for PE clothes in Japan), so I take back all the questions for now.
    When I said "Clothes worn for such activities are likely to be called PE- this, that and the other." I meant that you can find some items, such as PE shirt, PE shorts, and so on, but there are no "set phrases" other than putting the letters PE in front of the item.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I Googled "track and field apparel" and found the Nike store. They list (for men) tights, shorts, tops, tanks, sleeveless tops, etc. For women they add capris and crop tights. It's a commercial site so I cannot link it here, but a quick Google search will yield all the same information.

    You should note that there are the clothes they compete in and the clothes that they keep warm in. Not the same at all.

    When I competed we wore short and tank tops and kangaroo leather spike shoes. No socks.
     

    akimura

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you for the additional responses. What I meant by Japanese set phrases was... well, this is an English-only forum so let me put it this way: In Japan we also have a variety of names originated from the apparel industry, but when it comes to speaking about PE clothes in daily conversation, we pretty much use a combination of three convenient phrases like, "tracksuit, shirt and shorts", or "jogging suit, shirt and shorts". At first I wondered if there were also representative phrases in English, but it seems that's not the case. With the phrases suggested in mind, I will visit Nike and other web sites and hopefully get a better feel of English sportswear phrases.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    A common term for the set of clothes and shoes worn for a given sporting activity (in BrE at least) is "kit". So you could have "PE kit", "running kit", "tennis kit", etc.

    Ws:)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A common term for the set of clothes and shoes worn for a given sporting activity (in BrE at least) is "kit". So you could have "PE kit", "running kit", "tennis kit", etc.

    Ws:)
    "Kit" is almost exclusively BE. Though lately I've seen camera kits for sale in the USA, but this is a rarity.
     

    akimura

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    PE kit in British English sounds very convenient, while the fact that the synonymous phrase doesn't exit in American English seems to be the proof that you can live without such a phrase. Meanwhile, I'm curious whether the trend in the U.S. where in general sweatsuits are becoming more popular than jogging suits, which is synonymous to tracksuits, applies to the trend in popularity in school P.E. (If sweatsuits are more popular, it explains why the Genius English-Japanese Dictionary that I have says tracksuit in BE synonymous to sweatsuit in AE, which conflicts with reply #2 in this thread.)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You will have fun using nGram viewer to answer such complex questions:D. I typed in "sweatsuit,track suit,jogging suit, sweat suit" (without the quotes) and found track suit is more popular in "British books", sweat suit is equally popular as one word or two words and as popular as jogging suit. However, the result is inverted in "American books" with Justkate's (post #2) suspicion being confirmed - track suit use has been declining since 1980.
     
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    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    However, the picture changes if you also include "tracksuit" as one word (which is how I would instinctively spell it — and apparently I'm not alone).

    The BrE ngram then shows "tracksuit" way ahead of "track suit", and the total of those two relegates the others (sweat suit, sweatsuit, jogging suit) to very low positions.

    In the AmE ngram, "tracksuit" occurs more often than "track suit", and the total of those two roughly equals the count for "jogging suit" — and is about half the count for "sweatsuit" and "sweat suit" combined.

    But an even more dramatic change is seen by setting the upper date-limit to 2008 (the latest available) instead of 2000 (as you had it, JS).

    Now, in the BrE ngram, "tracksuit" leaps up to more than twice its 2000 value, and stands at 15 to 35 times any of the other terms.

    And incredibly, in the AmE ngram the 2008 count for "tracksuit" is around three times its 2000 value, making it the overall leader, even ahead of "sweat suit", and well ahead of "jogging suit" and "sweatsuit". This seems to be contrary to what Kate said, so maybe there's a glitch in the stats, or perhaps they're distorted by some atypical samples.

    Ws:)
     
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    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Well, it started as just a little curiosity about what "tracksuit" might give ... but I guess I got carried away.;) (Ngrams can be addictive!)

    But maybe akimura would like to see what happens if you add "joggers". Meanwhile I'm jogging off to bed!

    Ws:)
     
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