Today’s word of the day is greatcoat, a heavy outer garment you wear outside of all of your other clothes. It is approximately the same thing as an overcoat (which can be of any weight) or a topcoat (which is lightweight) and related to a surcoat (which is loose).

In 1842 Penny Magazine of London quoted this description of a certain kind of greatcoat in Ireland in 1581:

With jackets long and large,
Which shroud simplicity:
Though spiteful darts which they do bear
Import iniquity.
Their skirts be very strange,
Not reaching past the thigh;
With plaits on plaits they plaited are,
As thick as plaits may lie.
Whose sleeves hang trailing down
Almost unto the shoe;
And with a mantle commonly
The Irish kerne do go.
Now some amongst the rest
Do use another weed:
A coat, I mean, of strange device,
Which fancy first did breed.
His skirts be very short,
With plaits set thick about.