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    #1

    pac-a-mac

    What's a "pac-a-mac"?

    I've heard it in this sentence: "He always wears a pac-a-mac". It's like a trench or something similar?

  1. Munch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: pac-a-mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia Garett View Post
    What's a "pac-a-mac"?

    I've heard it in this sentence: "He always wears a pac-a-mac". It's like a trench or something similar?
    I had never heard the phrase, but googling "pac-a-mac" tells me it is a rain jacket. They don't seem to be as long as a trench coat, and some uses of the phrase suggest they were thin enough to be folded up and carried in your pocket.

    Madness had a song called Pac-a-Mac and sang:

    When it rains
    Cats and dogs
    From my pocket I pick a pac-a-mac.
    Another website told me:

    The Pacamac was in vogue in the 1960s. The precurser to the cagoule, it consisted of a large sheet of brightly coloured polythene, cut and moulded into the shape of a coat, pliable enough to fold very small so you could keep it handy in your pocket and if it rained you could pull it out, put it on and spend the duration of the shower looking like a Durex Fiesta. The Pacamac had two drawbacks. First, it wasn't waterproof, and second, it made you sweat so much there was no point in wearing it in the first place. The modern equivalent of Pacamac wearers are people who wear transparent plastic raincoats with transparent hoods, obviously with the sole intention of imitating a large packet of crisps.
    In modern online shopping catalogs, they are not necessarily so thin, however.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: pac-a-mac



    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia Garett View Post
    ... It's like a trench or something similar?
    Maybe this is OK in some variants of English, but in Br Eng. the word is 'trench-coat' - so called, I imagine, because it was worn by soldiers in the trenches during WWI.

    b

  3. Munch's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: pac-a-mac

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post




    Maybe this is OK in some variants of English, but in Br Eng. the word is 'trench-coat' - so called, I imagine, because it was worn by soldiers in the trenches during WWI.

    b
    Well spotted Bob. If I had noticed, I would also have said the correct term is "trench-coat".

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: pac-a-mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    Well spotted Bob. If I had noticed, I would also have said the correct term is "trench-coat".
    But I think I was wrong about them being worn in the trenches. Wikipedia suggests that the style was based on what was worn in the trenches, which isn't quite the same.

    b

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