Nancy Friedman has once again alerted me to to a NOOB of which I was not aware. (If you want to know about the other occasions, just key her name into the search field at right.) I was certainly familiar with the BrE kit, meaning both “uniform” (what football players wear) and “equipment,” and had indeed been keeping my eye out for American uses.
Thanks to Nancy, I now know the latter kit, at least, has established a capacious beachhead on these shores. She sent along a link to a September 14 blog post by John Scalzi, about the new iPhone, which includes this line: “As advertised, it is a very lovely piece of kit.”
I poked around the Web for other uses and found it’s most popular among techies like Scalzi. Thus Zack Whitaker, on ZDNet: “It doesn’t matter where you are in the world: a media on-the-go bag has to have every piece of kit you may or may not need.” And Elizabeth Fish, in PCWorld: “The Sandia Hand by Sandia National Laboratories is an impressive piece of kit for a troop to own.” (Both quotes appeared in the last couple of months.)
Besides spotting this rather annoying piece of pretentiousness, Nancy offers a credible starting point for its U.S. popularity: Lenny Kravitz’s 1999 song “Black Velveteen,” which refers to a “nice piece of kit.”
As if all this weren’t enough, Nancy has identified another new NOOB. Watch this space to learn about it.