Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

When did the term hoodie get popular, and do you use it?

Asked by JLeslie (55790points) November 5th, 2011

Wikipedia actually says it was during the 90’s the term became popular. It actually shocks me people were using hoodie so long ago. I worked in retail throughout the 90’s, never heard word. The first time I became aware of it was a few years ago my husband used it, and I had no idea what the heck he was talking about. I wasn’t sure if he was saying something incorrectly (which happens sometimes with him being ESL).

I always called it a sweat jacket with a hood. Or, a hooded sweat jacket.

I don’t like the term hoodie. Hood means ghetto or gangster type to me.

What say you?

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31 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Yeah.. It has been used by my friends and I since high school. So that would at least put it in the late 90’s.

TheIntern55's avatar

For as long as I remember, it’s been called a hoodie. When my brothers were in high school, they called it that and I’ve never called it any different.

Hibernate's avatar

I know about it but I never heard any of my friends use it [US friends that is].

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I didn’t hear it called a hoodie until 2007 and I wore them back in the 70’s-90’s.

bkcunningham's avatar

I never liked the use of “sweat jacket.” It implies stinky people.

rebbel's avatar

Some years ago, while watching The Wire I heard it for the first time, and some months ago, during the England riots I heard it again.
It has a negative connotation to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham It does? Do you feal the same about sweat pants?

Earthgirl's avatar

People like to have nicknames even for their clothes, lol.
Sweatsuits become “sweats”, Bell-bottoms become “bells”, etc. I think Hoodie became the cute nickname when hooded sweatshirts really got popular. It also becomes a handle in the fashion business that helps to sell things. It cements a trend when you have a nickname for something. Some of the nicknames are invented by the fashion industry and others are invented on the street and become popularized then picked up by the fashion mavens.

FutureMemory's avatar

I remember it being used in 1990.

Aethelwine's avatar

A majority of my winter attire consists of hoodies. I collected several when we went on our family vacations. I have one with the outline of Lake Superior and a lighthouse, one I bought from Colorado during our whitewater rafting trip, one from Germany that my son bought for me when he visited last year (It has an outline Neuschwanstein Castle on the front)

yeah, those really sound ghetto. lol

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think as pre teens, we used to call ours track-jackets but they were just the same cotton sweatshirt material ones you buy at the Army Navy Surplus stores and Kmart.

digitalimpression's avatar

the letters “ie” mean everything. Hood becomes Hoodie. No, it’s not someone that has been hooded by a hooder… nor is it a crazed Robin Hood fan….. It’s just a sweatshirt… with a hood.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond Me too, I have a bunch. One from Stowe, VT; one for my college Michigan State; one from the Indy 500; a black one with matching black sweatpants, a brown one with matching pants also. I never said hoodies are ghetto, I said the word hoodie sounds ghetto, negative connotation. I wear them almost every day in the cold weather around the house, to my gym, to the supermarket.

lillycoyote's avatar

I only started using the expression in past couple of years, middle-aged creature that I am. I decided that the word was more fun and easier to say than “hooded sweatshirt” ( a lot easier than hooded sweat jacket) and it’s sweet; hoodie is like a pet name, a term of endearment, for one of the greatest pieces of clothing ever invented.

and @JLeslie, “hood” can either mean hoodlum or neighborhood, not necessarily ghetto, I don’t think. One bad, one not bad, or not so bad, necesserily. Hoodie means a hooded sweatshirt. It doesn’t seem righ to blame a word because it contains another word that means something bad. That doesn’t seem fair to the word. :-) There are lot of words like that. It’s kind of like not liking the word Hellenistic because it contains the word hell.

AshLeigh's avatar

I call it a sweater, or a hoodie… I don’t see a problem with it. Hah.

janbb's avatar

I would have said I’ve heard it within about the past 10 years to mean a hooded sweatshirt.

AshlynM's avatar

I never heard of the term, hoodie until I went on I always called it a sweatshirt with a hood. I don’t like hoodie, either. Sounds too childlike.

DominicX's avatar

I heard it all throughout school, though I also heard hoodies referred to as “sweatshirt-jackets” or just “jackets”.

janbb's avatar

(Why do i blame Old navy somehow?)

Aethelwine's avatar

@JLeslie See, I immediately think of the term as soft and cuddly. That’s what I’ve always associated hoodies with since I became aware of the term. =)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I only wear my hoodie when seeking out some strange.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I use it. Also, is there an issue with saying a word associated with ‘the ghetto’? Really? From you?

fizzbanger's avatar

My family uses it interchangeably with the word “sweater” even if it doesn’t have a hood on it. Like, something warm but not a full-on jacket or coat. “Bring a hoodie”.

I hear people say things like “that guy looked sketchy, sitting on the corner all hooded up and shit”, implying someone is literally wearing their hood up over their head with no context (like, when it’s summertime), and they are probably a “hoodlum” up to no good.

When I hear “the ‘hood”, images of the Baltimore projects where The Wire was shot come to mind.

Now, where does the word “hoodwinked” come from?

dannyc's avatar

I finally got one at my lofty age. I walk the dog at night with it on and it keeps my head warm. My kids think it looks ridiculous on me so I like it now even more. Now that I have one they will surely fade into fashion oblivion like a burbary, top hat or Britney Spears.

Berserker's avatar

I always used that word when talking about sweatshirts with hoods, or jackets with hoods that aren’t big Winter coats. Ever since I can remember. Denno when it got popular, probably around the time when those were created, as we know them today I mean…they probably have a big history, but I’m not a clothes expert. Or the word got popular whenever the clothing itself picked up and became popular. It may vary from culture to culture. I’m actually very surprised at the answers that say they never heard of it since recently. I always thought it was a normal word for those. So, considering that, it may depend on the place, and some other factors I mentioned above.

I like the word hoodie because it’s all cute, and I enjoy putting hoods on my head and then yanking the strings slowly, until it’s all tight. I call it, ’‘inhooding myself’’. It’s all soft and comfy inside, ecxept when it makes my hair go in my mouth. I do prefer doing that with big jacket and coat hoods though, because those hoods are usually bigger and puffier.

But yeah, a hood is a hood. The gangster thing is just a slang, and it also applies to rich neighborhoods and rich parts of town, as used by those who use hood to mention an area in a city. Not just poorer areas. There may be some relation with the slang hoodie from youth gangsterism fashion though, since many of them are fans of hoodies. They’re cheap and accessible, and good for lots of types of weather. I’m not discriminating ’‘ghetto folks’’ though, please don’t think that. But it is an observation I’ve made, what with living in shitty parts of towns for most of my youth. :D yanks strings
Then again, just about everyone, from ’‘the hood’’ or not, to my knowledge has always used the word ’‘hoodie’’. So I might be right off my rocker with that theory. At least in places in Canada in which I’ve lived, anyways, the word seems normally common.

augustlan's avatar

It’s definitely been around for quite a while, at least on the east coast. I prefer “hoodie” to “sweat jacket”. It just sounds nicer, to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I definitely gave you a GA. :)

I usually use “hood” short for hoodlum, and the expression “in the hood” for where it is dangerous. Ghetto I use more as defining an area, and not necessarily crime ridden, but likely to be impovershed. Jewish ghetto, black ghetto, Russian ghetto. I think of it like the word shtetl, But, the words hood and ghetto certainly can be used interchangebly. I just tend to use hood with a negative connotation.

Earthgirl's avatar

I got curious, being into clothing history, about whether or not there was something to the appeal of the term based on hoods, and hoodlums perhaps wearing hoods. I thought maybe a street appeal could be based on our tendency of glamorizing certain criminal elements. Most people wouldn’t even be aware of it and it still might come into play increasing the popularity of an item or its name. I looked up the word origin and it turns out to be German, Swebian dialect to be specific.
hood·lum   [hood-luhm, hood-]
a thug or gangster.
a young street ruffian, especially one belonging to a gang.

Origin: 1870–75, Americanism; probably < dialectal German; compare Swabian derivatives of Hudel rag, e.g. hudelum disorderly, hudellam weak, slack Hudellump(e) rags, slovenly, careless person, and related words in other dialects
Related forms
hood·lum·ish, adjective
hood·lum·ism, noun

It was first used in San Francisco to describe street ruffians.It had nothing to do with them wearing hoods, however.
popularized 1871, Amer.Eng., (identified throughout the 1870s as “a California word”) “young street rowdy, loafer,” especially one involved in violence against Chinese immigrants, “young criminal, gangster;” it appears to have been in use locally from a slightly earlier date and may have begun as a specific name of a gang:
The police have recently been investigating the proceedings of a gang of thieving boys who denominate themselves and are known to the world as the Hoodlum Gang. [San Francisco “Golden Era” newspaper, Feb. 16, 1868, p.4]

Don’t you just love Wikipedia??
It—always—almost always satisfies my curiosity!
The hoodie took off in the 1970s, with several factors contributing to its success. Hip hop culture developed in New York City around this time, and the hoodie’s element of instant anonymity, provided by the accessible hood, appealed to those with criminal intent.[3] High fashion also contributed during this era, as Norma Kamali and other high-profile designers embraced and glamorized the new clothing.[2] Most critical to the hoodie’s popularity during this time was its iconic appearance in the blockbuster Rocky film. By the 1990s, the hoodie had evolved into a symbol of isolation, a statement of academic spirit, and several fashion collections. The association with chavs/neds in the UK developed around this time, as their popularity rose with that specific demographic. Young men, often skateboarders or surfers, sported the hoodie and spread the trend across the western United States, most significantly in California.

Just an aside. I thought this was so cute! (also on Wikipedia)
In Saskatchewan, the hoodie is often known as a “bunny hug” or “bunnyhug”.
And there you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about the hoodie!
Important thing is, we all seem to like them a lot!!

Sorry I got a little carried away. I like the fashion questions…..

JLeslie's avatar

@Earthgirl I definitely think hoodie is short for hood, as in the hood on a garment, not related to “the hood” or hoodlum, it’s just the word makes me think of the word hoodlum.

You reminded me with your historical post that when I was a little girl I was not allowed to wear garments with a hood when I played outside. A safety measure, nothing to do with it having a negative connotation or being related to gang members and bad guys.

Earthgirl's avatar

JLeslie But just think of how many characters for Halloween which are evil that wear hoods!!! The Grim Reaper, Dark Wizards, etc, etc…The face is hidden, it has an aura of mystery and it creates anonymity.

JLeslie's avatar

@Earthgirl If the hood is on. Most of us wore hooded sweaters and jackets for the style with the hood usually down. I definitely don’t think of hooded garments as being mysterious or mischevious. Someone would have to have the hood on along with other indicators for me to think they are up to no good, the hood alone wouldn’t cause me to think anything negative.

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