JERKIN, a short close-fitting jacket, made usually of leather, and without sleeves, the typical male upper garment of the 16th and lyth centuries. The origin of the word is unknown. The Dutch woidjurk, a child's frock, often taken as the source, is modern, and represents neither the sound nor the sense of the English word. In architecture the term " jerkin-roofed " is applied, probably with some obscure connexion with the garment, to a particular form of gable end, the gable being cut off half way up the roof and sloping back like a " hipped roof " to the edge.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)