I’ve been trying to conjure up a mental image of slinging a shirt over one arm, like the image below. Is it correct? I think it’s probably easier to hang over the forearm instead of the upper arm.

sling a shirt

  • 2
    Why have you been trying to "conjure up a mental image" of this. Have you read this expression somewhere? If so where did you read it? I suspect you are overthinking this...
    – James K
    Dec 25, 2021 at 22:06
  • @James K I read it from a novel. It’s not a big deal but sling is one of the words I have only a very understanding of so I wanna make sure I have nailed it.
    – Ray
    Dec 27, 2021 at 19:59
  • What novel? You should always tell us exactly the source of the quote. And please either link to an online version, or provide a little more context.
    – James K
    Dec 27, 2021 at 20:52
  • @JamesK I think the meaning is clear enough from the words "slinging a shirt over one arm". How do you think context would clarify something or change what your answer would be?
    – gotube
    Jan 2 at 20:28
  • Questioners should always tell us the source of the phrase that they are asking about Here's why
    – James K
    Jan 2 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


It could well mean that, or it could mean a shirt held between the upper arm and the body. It could also mean a person with a shirt actually over a shoulder, but partly supported by an arm.

Also the image the phrase conjures up for me is of a person who has taken off a shirt and carries it over an arm, so that person's upper body is shirtless. However it could well mean wearing one shirt and carrying another.


To sling a shirt over your arm is the action of placing it there, as in your picture, by throwing it over the arm, rather than by some other method like sliding the arm under the shirt before lifting it up.

sling 1: to cast with a sudden and usually sweeping or swirling motion

Once the action is done, it doesn't matter how the shirt got there, and it can be described variously as:

a shirt slung over one arm
a shirt hanging over/from one arm
a shirt over one arm

and so on.

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