“Kitted out”

The blog has previously covered “kit,” meaning equipment or gear, often used in the phrase “piece of kit.” A variation that seems to be gaining popularity in the U.S. is “kitted out,” more or less meaning  “equipped” or “decked out,”sometimes with the implication that the decking is excessive. Thus this from the New York Times:

A 23,500-square-foot behemoth at the corner of Sunset and Vine, the store is kitted out to the point of preposterousness with, among other things, a sushi bar, a supermarket, a florist, a warren of frozen-yogurt kiosks and a sidewalk cafe.

And Vanity Fair (0n a mock documentary on Donald Trump):

The 50-minute film, supposedly unearthed at a yard sale by Ron Howard, is kitted out perfectly as a 1980s relic, with a VHS hiss in the background and even an original theme song written by Kenny Loggins.

And the Times again, on the London antiquarian bookshop Heywood Hill:

Requests are as varied as the world of books is wide. [Manager Nicky] Dunne has kitted out a hotel, at least one cruise ship and a fleet of private jets.

In my world, three qualifies as a trend-let.

(By the way, some readers have expressed irritation that I refer to the New York Times as the Times. For the record, I do that only on second reference, and refer to the London newspaper as The Times, with two capital “T”s.)

5 responses to ““Kitted out”

  1. Kitted out here, especially in the second example, seems to reflect a confluence with “fitted out”; the Bristish usage tends to run closer to “equipped” than “decorated” or furnished, and is followed as often by “for” as “as” — Kitted out for a particular activity, purpose or conditions (hunting, the outdoors,the cold. Ad kit tended to refer to specialised clothing and/or gear, for a sport especially.

    • “kit tended to refer to specialised clothing and/or gear, for a sport especially”

      When I lived in NZ, we used to call diving equipment “gear”, but when I moved to the UK, I found it was called “kit”. Also, IT equipment is called “kit”

  2. Had to laugh at your reference to “the Times.” It wouldn’t matter in any other blog in the world – but this one, which compares UK and US speech, is bound to bring out the “Times” purists.

  3. Good thinking re “The Times / the Times”! It makes me wince here in London to hear Americans speak or write of “the London Times”, and “the Times of London” is almost as bad. At least calling our paper The Times with an upper case article will serve to distinguish between the two, but I fear it would be impossible to keep everyone happy.
    One could use as a criteria the exact wording on the masthead, in which case it would be “The Times”, “The New York Times”, and “The Times of India” (the latter being excellent online reading, btw, with graceful English usage to put us all to shame).

  4. Pingback: More “Kit” | Not One-Off Britishisms

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