One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A yellowish cotton cloth.‘a waistcoat and knee breeches of nankeen’
- ‘By 1785 types of cotton fabric generally available included corduroys, jeans, nankeens, erminetts, thicksets, corded tabby and jeanette.’
- ‘The Oneida was absent seventeen months, and returned with a rich cargo of teas, silks, and nankeens, so profitable that it was talked of in the counting-rooms of all our ports.’
- ‘Back in New Haven in July 1799 the cargo of Chinese goods (tea, nankeen, silk, and porcelain) realized more than $200,000 for the investors.’
- ‘A waitress neatly dressed in traditional Chinese nankeen jacket at Tianle Restaurant serves ganshao luyou, spicy perch.’
- ‘Suspended below this, clad in blue jacket, white waistcoat and nankeen pantaloons, and waving a silk French tricolour, stood Garnerin in a small basket.’
- 1.1nankeenshistorical Trousers made of nankeen.
- ‘Gilded youths ride in the Bois, wearing yellow, brown or scarlet frockcoats and tight-fitting white nankeens.’
- ‘Long-backed, thin, ‘lank as a leafless elm,’ a New England coach driver might look as though a high wind would blow him away, yet he would wear nankeens and low shoes in winter weather, and was not fragile but lusty.’
- ‘Besides, a goat might butt Peregrine - tumble him, with his chaste nankeens, his sherry-colour body-coat, and his certainties into the scuppers.’
- 1.2archaic The yellowish-buff colour of nankeen.
Mid 18th century: from the name of the city of Nanking (see Nanjing), where it was first made.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.