No merino

This shot was taken outside a bar on Knutsford Boulevard, the business and financial artery that cuts through New Kingston. All the banks have their main branches here, as do the two rival telecoms companies, Cable & Wireless (UK) and Digicel (Eire). The largest buildings belong to insurance companies, which seems odd at first in a developing country. Then again, watching the constant stream of armoured trucks and heavily armed security guards around, perhaps insurance is a growth industry here.

No merino

When I worked on a sheep farm in New South Wales in a former life, my job was to clean the freshly shorn fleeces from the Merino sheep, picking off the dags (guess what they were).

But I don’t think triple A quality wool sheep pose such a threat in Jamaica, so my question to you is this: what is merino and why is it banned?

10 thoughts on “No merino”

  1. A corruption of marijuana perhaps ? But then I guess it would be redundant, given the line below.

    Perhaps it’s just a fashion statement. When I googled merino + jamaica, I came across this from the Jamaica Gleaner :

    “Among the worst dressed entertainers for the night were Frankie Paul, who wore a design by Renee Luke that was obviously not made for him. The sleeves were way too long for his arms. His mesh merino looked tacky behind the faux fur jacket and gave the impression that he dressed hurriedly and without much thought.”

    I can understand that no self-respecting bar would want people who dress tackily and thoughtlessly there scaring off all the well-dressed punters. And it does seem that there is a merino/mohair blend known as Jamaica.

    I tried all the obvious near-homonyms/homopohones and came up with nothing… Sorry.

    I like the way the meaning of the word weed is clarified though, in case anyone thought it referred to anything other than ganja.

    Oh, and Happy New Yar (if I didn’t say that already).

  2. Well tried, Waterhot. The Frankie Paul review got you very close.

    A merino is a vest (UK) or undershirt (US) (un marcel in French, curiously). So the sign is warning about the dress code.

    I have no idea why it is called merino. I am sure no one wears one actually made from merino wool!

  3. Singlet … another nice word I haven’t heard for a long time.

    And you’re probably right, UG – if you called someone a singlet in an argument you’d probably regret it. It sounds sexually compromised, doesn’t it? That’s definitely not something to tease Jamaican men about.

  4. A merino is a sleeveless shirt normally worn under an ordinary shirt. Some people think that they make good outer garments, but a lot of people think they are undergarments and so should not be worn as outer garments… They are the same thing as that garment now called a “wifebeater”.

  5. Wifebeaters … that’s another new one for me!

    I see John Travolta posing in one in the second hit of your Google image link.

    Such a nice man. I’m sure he never beat his wife.

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