One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A loose hooded woollen robe or cloak of a kind traditionally worn by Arabs.
cloak, wrap, mantle, cape, kaftanView synonyms
- ‘The door opened and five women filed in, as if in a play, all dressed identically: grey jellabas, white scarves concealing hair and foreheads, gloves, pale faces devoid of all makeup.’
- ‘For the ceremony itself, the groom wears a long, loose-fitting garment called a jellaba and the bride wears the traditional long head shawl and kaftan.’
- ‘I am frisked thoroughly, quickly and professionally by a mountain of a man dressed in a jellaba.’
- ‘Clearly amused, a young lad peered at me through the hood of his woollen djellaba.’
- ‘In cold weather, many men cover their jellabas with a hooded cloak called a burnus.’
Early 19th century: from Moroccan Arabic jellāba, jellābiyya.
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