Posted by TheFallen on March 05, 2003

In Reply to: Matinee posted by Margaret Bell on March 05, 2003

: Does anyone know what the tie -in is with "matinee" & "matinee jacket"?

: Thanks

I've only just discovered what a matinee jacket is, courtesy of this question. For those who don't know, and please correct me if I'm wrong, it seens to be some sort of warm and often knitted or crocheted coat for newborn infants.

Matinee is used to describe a theatrical performance - or a movie showing - that takes place in the daytime, usually the afternoon, confusingly enough. Why confusingly? The word is actually French, matinée, meaning morning rather than afternoon, but morning in the sense of a time period with a definite duration, as compared to the French "matin", meaning "morning" in a more general sense. The French often do this with words describing time when they want to add an implication of duration, cf. jour and journée (day and whole day long), also soir and soirée (evening and an evening party that lasts some time).

I would guess therefore that a matinee jacket is an item of clothing designed to dress the baby in once you've got it out of its cot, maybe to keep it warm - infant day-wear, if you like.