Why is an anorak boring?

. 1

Banned
Australian Australia
The following was posted in another thread.

They are commonly known in the UK as anoraks. (derogatory term for boring people)

This is the second reference to 'anoraks' being boring or tedious people.

I know of anorak being a padded jacket worn during the cold but I can not make the connection to boring.

What is an anorak and why are they called anoraks.

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  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think it's because the anorak is the clothing of choice of trainspotters - the men who stand on main railway stations throughout England in all weathers and, as a hobby, take notes of the numbers of the locomotives and rolling stock that pass by. Trainspotters are proverbially dull, though to them their hobby is more exciting than any other. The drug abuse sense of 'trainspotting' is a more recent derivation.
     

    Toepicker

    Member
    English-England(Manchester)
    The term 'anorak' has now spread to other areas. Anyone who has a keen interest in something Eg. a sport, a hobby etc. or is even an expert on something, is now referred to as an 'anorak', although not necessarily in a derogatory way.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Does this mean that trainspotters were identified as being keenly interested in spotting trains by their anorak and now anyone showing a particular keeness for a thing is said to wear a metaphorical trainspotter's anorak.
    Maxiogee was the first that I noticed who used anorak in these forums and it did not seem necessarily insulting.

    .,,
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    From a the 1991 edition of the Dictionary of Contemporary Slang:
    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.
    So if you see a boring git with a talking jumper, that is an anorak :p

    More recently, the OED entry for anorak:
    slang (derog.). A boring, studious, or socially inept young person (caricatured as typically wearing an anorak), esp. one who pursues an unfashionable and solitary interest with obsessive dedication.
    From those early uses, it is now possible to describe someone as "a bit of an anorak about XXX" simply meaning that his particular interest is close to becoming obsessive.
     

    clairanne

    Senior Member
    english UK
    Hi
    an Anorak is seen as a very "boring" unfashionable item of clothing, that many people wore to school as their mother thought it was hard wearing and practical. These are still worn by middle aged men who collect stamps or go train spotting. So a person who is obsessive in their chosen hobby even if it is unfashionable or considered boring by their peers is nick named "an anorak"
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I don't think Pringle is unfashionable or boring anymore!

    David Beckham wears Pringle [and can afford it, too]
     

    beppo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I think it's because the anorak is the clothing of choice of trainspotters - the men who stand on main railway stations throughout England in all weathers and, as a hobby, take notes of the numbers of the locomotives and rolling stock that pass by. Trainspotters are proverbially dull, though to them their hobby is more exciting than any other. The drug abuse sense of 'trainspotting' is a more recent derivation.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What's the drug abuse sense of "trainspotting" ?
    We're getting off-track here, but my comment was based on the theory, reproduced at this page http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/trainspottingse.php that 'the term [trainspotting] has also come to mean the search for a viable vein for drug injection' (because a train or series of needle scar spots form along a vein).

    However, researching this reply has caused me to suspect that this explanation of the film title may be an urban myth, and I now wonder whether 'trainspotting' was ever used in this sense by those who do it. An alternative explanation of the title of the film is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trainspotting_(novel):
    'The title is a reference to an episode where Begbie and Renton meet "an auld drunkard" in the disused Leith Central railway station, which they are visiting to use as a toilet. He asks them (in a weak attempt at a joke) if they are "trainspottin". As they walk away, Renton realises the drunk was Begbie's father.'
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    Hi
    an Anorak is seen as a very "boring" unfashionable item of clothing, that many people wore to school as their mother thought it was hard wearing and practical. These are still worn by middle aged men who collect stamps or go train spotting. So a person who is obsessive in their chosen hobby even if it is unfashionable or considered boring by their peers is nick named "an anorak"
    Thanks claireanne,
    I think that completes the puzzle for me.
    It's funny how clothing can be considered boring.

    .,,
     
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