anorak

sophi979

Senior Member
Serbo-Croatian
Hi, all,

What does anorak mean in this context:

This will supposedly help him get over his apiophobia. That's fear of bees, in case you forgot your anorak.

I know "anorak" is a slang term for a nerdy person. Perhaps the message is something along the lines of "in case you are not wearing your nerdy/geeky hat on" (did I get the "hat" phrase right?), of perhaps it just means "in case you don't know such geeky stuff". Well, actually, I just don't know.

Could someone help me, please?

Thanks
 
  • sophi979

    Senior Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Sdgraham,
    I did check the WRD, but this sense of the word didn't seem to fit the context. Perhaps I'm missing something?
     

    katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    Yes, Sophi,

    I think you are right,

    An "anorak" is a term used for a "nerdy" person, probably from the days of Trainspotters, a totally boring subject for most, but these die hard enthusiasts will stand out in all weathers logging down the numbers of trains, hence the need for an Anorak to keep them dry. They are also classes as people with a lot of facts and figures but useless knowledge stored in their heads.

    The person who is explaining what Apiophobia means, is presuming that if the other person knows the meaning of this word, then they must be like the "anoraks" and have a lot of knowlege about trivial matters.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The use of anorak in this sense precedes Trainspotting by several decades, but is no doubt related to the kind of intensity demonstrated by lower case trainspotters :)

    EDIT to include a paraphrased and expanded version of the above.
    The use of anorak in this sense precedes the publication of Irvine Welsh's novel, Trainspotting, by several decades.
    But it is no doubt related to the kind of intensity demonstrated by trainspotters, who hang around in cold, drafty stations in the hope of spotting something unusual.
    For more information about trainspotting, including some references to this usage of anorak, CLICK HERE.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Perhaps the message is something along the lines of "in case you are not wearing your nerdy/geeky hat on" (did I get the "hat" phrase right
    Almost, Sophi;)
    But in case you haven't got your nerdy/geeky hat on sounds better to me:)
     

    snorklebum

    Senior Member
    Mexico English
    Anorak is an eskimo term, actually, not a junky word. In the clothing and outdoor trades it refers to a short hooded coat that is pulled over the head as opposed to ziping or buttoning up the front like a parka (also eskimo word)

    Most people in US these days call a hooded pullover a "hoodie"
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I had to puzzle over that one a bit too, Katie.
    Panjo, please use proper punctuation (italicizing or underscoring book/film titles etc.) in your posts:D

    And please feel free to delete my impertinence
     

    katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    With apologies all round for undue flippancy and being obscure, I'm off to edit my post to include a less obscure statement.

    It's no wonder I'm confused. I hadn't even thought of the possibility of the novel (or film) Trainspotting. I thought I was having a "senior moment" there. :)
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I had a slightly different interpretation of "anorak" in the quote. While the word is not capitalized, I thought "anorak" could be referring to the language/jargon spoken by,... well, someone who is an anorak. :)

    As has already been established, an anorak is a nerdy/geeky person. Much like a French person would speak French, it then follows that a nerdy/geeky person would speak "Nerd/Geek" (while not really a language in the official definition of the word, I have often been asked if I can speak "Chemistry". It's the same idea, and yes, I can :D ).

    Rewording the original sentence:
    This will supposedly help him get over his apiophobia. That's fear of bees, in case you forgot your geeky/nerdy vocabulary.

    Of course, I could be entirely wrong. :eek:
     

    katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    Thank you lablady. I could not make any sense of the phrase as In England an anorak means only a hooded waterproof outer jacket, as stated by snorklebum.
    I'm surprised that, as a native of the UK, you have never heard of it.

    I've found a definition from MSN Encarta for you.

    2. U.K. obsessive enthusiast: a boring, unfashionable, or studious person, especially somebody who is excessively devoted to a hobby or interest ( humorous )
    You can be into something without becoming a total anorak about it.

    http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861585800/anorak.html
     

    lunatiqfrinj

    Senior Member
    British English
    This will supposedly help him get over his apiophobia. That's fear of bees, in case you forgot your anorak.

    This will supposedly help him get over his apiophobia. That's fear of bees, in case you didnt actually swallow a dictionary, have a degree in insectology, can complete the Times crossword in 4 minutes, or some other nerdy pursuit ;)
     

    katie_here

    Senior Member
    England/English
    I haven't lived in England for 10 years also I'm too old. The language is clearly changing quickly with the importation of American expressions.

    I don't think that one is an American expression, and I'm sure it's been around more than 10 years!! , but no matter... :) you live and learn!!!.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The first recorded example that is listed in the OED comes from 1984:
    1984 Observer 5 Aug. 5/3 At weekends boatloads of Dutch ‘anoraks’ pirate radio fans come out to cheer on their latest hero.
    1988
    in T. THORNE Dict. Contemp. Slang (1991) 10 An anorak is one of those boring gits who sit at the front of every lecture with their Pringle jumpers asking the lecturer their clever questions.
     

    casebook

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I stand corrected!! I have never encountered this use of anorak prior to leaving England. It was certainly not used in the circles, to which I belonged. I can appreciate how it came to be applied to boatloads of Dutchmen, presumably clad in anoraks! It shows how one can learn from this forum.
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    ... It shows how one can learn from this forum.
    :thumbsup:

    For the record, until I found WR, I had no idea that an anorak was anything other than a raincoat. I vaguely remember a previous thread on the subject.

    I think many AE speakers would not know of the "nerdy person" definition unless, like myself, they are one (a nerdy/geeky person whose mind is a steel trap for seemingly unimportant but interesting bits of information) and happened to run across the word somewhere. :eek:

    I can't speak for all AE speakers, but it's definitely not used in my circle of acquaintances.
     
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