burlap vs gunny what difference

what is difference between burlap and gunny



Origin uncertain. Attested since about 1695 in the spelling bore-lap, borelapp. Likely from burel (a coarse woollen cloth) +‎ lap (flap of a garment), where the first element is from Middle English burel, borel. Others feel that “its character and time of appearance makes a Dutch origin very likely” (and the earliest references as to its importation from the Netherlands); the NED suggests derivation from Dutch boenlap (coarse, rubbing linen or cloth) with the first element perhaps confused with boer; Bense instead suggests derivation from an unattested Dutch *boerenlap, where *boeren supposedly has an extended sense of “coarse” as in Dutch boerenkost (coarse, heavy food as is eaten by farmers) and boerengoed (from Dutch boer (farmer, peasant); compare English boor), though this word is not attested.


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbɝlæp/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbɜːlæp/


burlap (countable and uncountable, plural burlaps)

  1. (US) A very strong, coarse cloth, made from jute, flax, or hemp, and used to make sacks, etc.
    Synonyms: (UK) hessian, (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago) crocus



burlap (third-person singular simple present burlaps, present participle burlapping, simple past and past participle burlapped)

  1. (transitive) To wrap or cover in burlap.

See also

  • sackcloth



Etymology 1

From Hindi and Marathi गनी (ganī) or गोन (gon), from Sanskrit, ultimately of Dravidian origin.


gunny (usually uncountable, plural gunnies)

  1. (uncountable) A coarse heavy fabric made of jute or hemp.
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber 1992, p. 102:
      Provisions were ferried by camel in stout sacks of gunny with blocks of ice packed round them; a herculean task.
  2. (countable) A gunny sack.

Derived terms

  • gunnybag
  • gunnycloth


Etymology 2

A shortening of gunnery sergeant


gunny (plural gunnies)

  1. (countable, informal) A gunnery sergeant.


  • Guynn

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