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Short sleeve

A sleeve is the part of a garment that covers the arm . A rough classification of clothing is made into short-sleeved , long-sleeved and sleeveless . The trade mostly uses the terms short- sleeved and long-sleeved .


Derived from Middle High German ermel and Old High German armilo with the meaning of arm ring, arm cuff , it also refers to something that is worn on the arm.


Bishop sleeves
Long sleeves on a straitjacket

Sleeves can be long, short, wide, fluffy ( puffed sleeves ) or tight-fitting . Long sleeves can also end in a finger loop. The respective fashion is often decisive for this.

  • A special sleeve shape is the so-called raglan sleeve, which starts at the neckline of the respective garment (see also raglan coat ). Raglan sleeves are mainly used for sportswear, as z. B. When wearing a backpack while hiking, the differently running seams do not rub the skin as hard as they do with normal sleeves.
  • In the Peking Opera , the extended sleeves of the costumes, the so-called water sleeves , play an important role. The performers use them to express feelings and actions.
  • Ham sleeves or leg of mutton sleeves, also called gigot sleeves (French gigot = leg of mutton), are wide sleeves on the shoulders and tapering from the elbow to the wrist. They were in fashion for men from 1650 to 1700 .
  • The over-long sleeves of the straitjacket allow the arms to be fixed.


  • The phrase shaking something off the sleeve , namely doing something effortlessly and apparently unprepared, refers to the sleeves of late medieval clothing, which were often very wide and also served as pockets .
  • We have to roll up our sleeves! means the willingness to work hard. This is probably due to the fact that long sleeves were often annoying at work or quickly led to perspiration during exertion. Possibly one only meant people with white sleeves , that is, those who mainly did office work.
  • The term shirt-sleeved , i.e. only dressed in a shirt without a jacket , figuratively stands for relaxed, informal action.

Other meanings

  • The English Channel also got its name from the shape of a sleeve. The French name of this strait La Manche means something like hose, sleeve .

Web links

Commons : Sleeves  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Sleeves  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Archive link ( Memento from June 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive )

Wiktionary: Sleeves  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations