Is there a noun that means the piece of cloth that some women wear around their waist when they are in bikini?


4 Answers 4


In Britain they are known variously as a sarong (from Malay national garment), pareo (from pareu - Tahitian national language, first used in English in 1769), kimono (from Japanese), or simply as wrap, or cover-up. All those terms appear on Amazon

The Marks & Spencers word seems to be sarong, which suggests it is the more usual term in Britain. They don't seem to have heard of a pareo.

These are pictures of the real Sarong Kebaya which is a Malay national dress. It is the uniform of the female flight attendants on both MAS (Malaysian Airlines) and SIA (Singapore Airlines). They are as different from beach wraps as are Japanese kimonos.

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    – tchrist
    Jan 28, 2018 at 23:15

In the US, I've never hear "pareo", only "sarong". "Coverup" or "wrap" would work too (though "wrap" is more likely to refer to something that goes over your shoulders and arms).

  • 1
    Pareo is a common term in Hawaii (which is in the US)—possibly the most common term for the item, though not necessarily for the style of wearing it. That is, I can imagine saying "I can't decide whether to wear my new pareo sarong-style or toga-style."
    – 1006a
    Jan 23, 2018 at 19:54
  • Well, I'm American and I've heard pareo and sarong. Cover up is a generic term for some pretty awful outfits. Take a gander at this monstrosity: pinterest.com/pin/546835579741125424//ughhh. :)
    – Lambie
    Jan 23, 2018 at 20:35

I would call it a lavalava, particularly if worn by a Polynesian and definitely if it were a man wearing it.

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    For all that it is a correct answer, it's been a while since I heard this word in conversation, and in the mean time sarong has come up more often. All anecdote, of course. Jan 23, 2018 at 21:35
  • @dmckee I live in New Zealand, so I probably hear it more than people who live where there isn't a numerous Samoan population. Jan 23, 2018 at 21:47

You probably mean a pareo?

Here's an example of one:

enter image description here

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    that actual item is listed as a "cover-up" or "wrap" or "scarve" on many sites, heh! :) (and yes, as a pareo and sarong on others)
    – Fattie
    Jan 24, 2018 at 1:20

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