What Do They Call Sweaters In England?

What Do They Call Sweaters In England?

In England, when it comes to naming sweaters, things can get quite interesting. While many people refer to them as sweaters, there is actually a specific term that is commonly used in England to describe these cozy garments. It's a term that goes back centuries and adds a touch of British charm to the world of knitwear. So, what do they call sweaters in England? Brace yourself for the delightful answer!

The term used in England to refer to sweaters is "jumpers." Yes, that's right, jumpers! It might sound a bit peculiar if you're used to calling them sweaters, but in British English, it's a term that has been used for ages. The word "jumper" comes from the action of "jumping" into these garments to keep warm, which is not only a functional but also a fashionable way to stay cozy during the colder months. So, the next time you're in England and someone mentions a jumper, rest assured they're talking about a stylish sweater!

What Do They Call Sweaters In England?

The British Terminology for Sweaters

Sweaters, a clothing item loved and worn by people across the globe, are known by various names in different English-speaking countries. In England, the birthplace of the English language itself, sweaters are referred to by a distinctive term. This unique aspect of the English language adds to the richness and diversity of vocabulary. Curious to know what they call sweaters in England? Let's delve into the fascinating world of British English terminology for sweaters and explore the nuances and variations across different regions.

Jumper: The Common British Term

One term that is widely used in England to refer to a sweater is "jumper." This word has been used in British English for centuries and is commonly understood across the country. The term "jumper" is derived from the action of jumping, as early sweaters were often used for warmth during physical activities like jumping or exercising. The word gradually evolved to refer to any knitted garment worn on the upper body for warmth and style.

People in England use the term "jumper" in their everyday conversations and in various settings, such as at home, in schools, in workplaces, and while shopping for clothing. The term is not limited to a specific gender or age group and is applicable to any knitted top garment, regardless of its style, color, or fabric. So, whether you're looking for a chunky jumper, a cozy woolen jumper, or a trendy longline jumper, the term "jumper" encompasses them all.

It's interesting to note that the term "jumper" is also used in other English-speaking countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. However, in these countries, it typically refers to a sleeveless knitted garment, similar to what is commonly referred to as a vest or tank top in the United States. This reinforces the importance of considering the regional context when using or interpreting specific clothing terms in the English language.

Sweater: The American Influence

Although the term "jumper" is the predominant British term for sweaters, it is worth mentioning the influence of American English in the United Kingdom. Due to the widespread popularity of American culture and media, particularly through films, television shows, and music, the term "sweater" is also used by some people in England to refer to this knitted garment.

The usage of "sweater" in England is more commonly associated with informal or casual conversations, influenced by American English usage. Certain age groups, especially younger individuals or those who are fond of American pop culture, may prefer using the term "sweater" instead of "jumper." This usage is not as widespread as "jumper" but is nevertheless an interesting element in the language variation within England.

It is important to note that the British English term "sweater" typically refers to a knitted garment with long sleeves and is not used in the American sense of referring to a sleeveless knitted vest or tank top. Thus, the use of "sweater" in England aligns with the traditional understanding of the term in most English-speaking countries.

Other British Terms for Sweaters

Besides "jumper" and "sweater," there are a few other regional terms used across different parts of England to refer to this knitted garment. These terms showcase the linguistic diversity within the country, highlighting the unique identities of various regions and communities.


In some regions of England, particularly in the North, the term "pullover" is commonly used to describe a sweater. The word "pullover" emphasizes the action of pulling the garment over the head, capturing the process of wearing a sweater. This term is often used interchangeably with "jumper" and is widely understood across the country.

"Pullover" is a versatile term and encompasses various sweater styles, fabrics, and designs. It is an integral part of the local vocabulary and is used in everyday conversations by people of all ages and genders. So, if you hear someone in the North of England mention a "pullover," they are referring to the same cozy knitted garment.

It is worth noting that the term "pullover" is also used in several other English-speaking countries, including the United States. However, in the United States, it typically refers to a sweater without buttons or a zipper, often made of a lighter fabric, while in England, it can be used more broadly to refer to any type of sweater.


In some parts of England, particularly in the West Country and the Channel Islands, the term "jersey" is used instead of "jumper" or "sweater." The term "jersey" has its origins in the Channel Islands, which are located off the coast of France but are British Crown dependencies. Historically, the Channel Islands were renowned for their wool industry and the production of knitted garments, hence the association of the term "jersey" with sweaters.

The term "jersey" is not as widely used in England as "jumper" or "sweater." It is more prevalent in the regions close to the Channel Islands and may not be as familiar to individuals from other parts of the country. Nevertheless, it adds to the linguistic variety within England and reflects the historical and cultural influences on language usage.

Sloppy Joe

In certain regions of England, particularly in the North West, the term "sloppy joe" is used to describe a loose, oversized, and cozy sweater. The term "sloppy joe" originally referred to a type of beef or pork sandwich with a messy filling, and its association with a loose-fitting sweater emphasizes the comfort and ease of wearing this particular style.

"Sloppy joe" is a colloquial term and may not be as widely used or understood outside the specific regions where it is common. However, it showcases the unique language variations within England and adds to the colorful tapestry of British English vocabulary.


The English language is known for its richness and diversity, and the terminology used for sweaters in different countries is no exception. In England, the predominant term "jumper" is widely understood and used by people of all ages and backgrounds. The influence of American English has also led to the usage of "sweater" in some contexts, particularly among younger individuals or those who are influenced by American pop culture.

In addition to "jumper" and "sweater," regional variations exist within England, with terms like "pullover," "jersey," and "sloppy joe" being used in specific regions. These terms reflect the linguistic diversity and unique cultural identities of different areas within England, adding depth and nuance to the language.

So, now that you know what they call sweaters in England, you can confidently navigate conversations about this cozy and essential clothing item, whether you're in London, Manchester, Bristol, or any other part of the country. Embrace the linguistic variations and appreciate the fascinating world of British English.

What Do They Call Sweaters In England?

Sweater Terminology in England

In England, sweaters are referred to as "jumpers." This term is widely used across the country and is the most common way to describe this type of clothing item. Whether it is a thick woolen garment for winter or a lightweight pullover for spring, the term "jumper" is used universally in England.

The word "sweater" is more commonly used in American English. However, due to the influence of American media and the globalization of fashion, some people in England also use the term "sweater" to refer to this garment. This is especially true in larger cities or among younger generations who are more exposed to American culture.

Jumper Sweater
The preferred term in England Also used, especially in urban areas and among younger generations
Widely recognized and understood May cause confusion or require clarification
Traditional British terminology Influence from American fashion and media

What Do They Call Sweaters In England? - Key Takeaways

  • The term "sweater" is commonly used in England to refer to a knitted garment worn for warmth.
  • In England, the word "jumper" is often used interchangeably with "sweater."
  • Another term used in England for sweaters is "pullover," which describes a garment that is pulled over the head when worn.
  • The word "jersey" is also used in England to describe a lightweight knitted top, similar to a sweater.
  • In some parts of England, regional variations may exist, such as "woolly" or "jumperoo" for sweaters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about the different names for sweaters in England:

1. Are sweaters called jumpers in England?

Yes, sweaters are commonly called jumpers in England. This term is used interchangeably with sweater and is widely understood by the British population. So, if you're in England and someone mentions jumpers, they are referring to sweaters.

The word "jumper" originated in Britain and has been in use since the mid-19th century. The term is derived from the phrase "jumping jacket" and was initially used to describe a knitted garment used for warmth. Over time, the word jumper became synonymous with sweater and is now the preferred term in England.

2. What is the difference between a jumper and a cardigan?

A jumper and a cardigan are both types of sweaters, but they differ in their design. A jumper is a pullover-style garment that is worn by pulling it over the head. It does not have any buttons or fastenings. On the other hand, a cardigan is a sweater that opens in the front and has buttons or a zipper for closure.

The term jumper is more commonly used in England, while cardigan is a universally understood term. So, if someone in England mentions a jumper, they are referring to a pullover-style sweater, while a cardigan is a sweater that opens in the front.

3. What are some other names for sweaters in England?

In addition to jumper, sweaters in England are also known by other names such as pullover, jersey, and knitwear. These terms are often used interchangeably and refer to the same type of garment. So, if you hear someone using these terms in England, they are talking about sweaters.

The term pullover is particularly common in Scotland and Northern England, while jersey is more commonly used in the Southern regions. Knitwear is a more general term that encompasses all knitted garments, including sweaters.

4. Is the term "sweater" used in England?

While the term "sweater" is less commonly used in England compared to jumper, it is still understood by most people. Sweater is a more internationally recognized term and is commonly used in other English-speaking countries such as the United States and Canada.

So, if you refer to a sweater in England, people will understand what you mean. However, using the term jumper might be more fitting if you want to align with the local terminology.

5. Are there any regional variations in England for the names of sweaters?

Yes, there can be some regional variations in the names of sweaters across England. As mentioned earlier, terms like jumper, pullover, jersey, and knitwear are used interchangeably, but their usage might vary slightly depending on the region.

For example, jumper is the most commonly used term in England, but you might come across variations like "jumperoo" in some regions. Similarly, pullover can also be referred to as "woolly" in certain areas. These regional variations add to the richness and diversity of the English language.

So, to summarize, in England, sweaters are commonly referred to as jumpers. It's important to note that this term may be different in other parts of the English-speaking world, such as the United States, where they typically use the word 'sweater' instead. Therefore, if you're ever in England and someone mentions jumpers, you'll know they're talking about sweaters.

Understanding the local terminology is not only useful for social interactions but also helpful when shopping for clothing or discussing fashion in England. The word 'jumper' has become deeply rooted in the British culture and is an important word to know when navigating the English language. So now you know, sweaters in England are known as jumpers!