Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

It's all pants, I say! PANTS!

Around a month ago I was commenting on something (can't remember what exactly), and I said something along the lines of 'it's pants'. 'Pants' is something that I have been saying for well over twenty years, usually to describe something that is awful, crap, stupid or pathetic. And it's not just me, a lot of people round here use 'pants' as a word to describe something that is incredibly blah.

It got me thinking though. I mean, just as there are a wide range of pants to be worn, there is also a wide range of things that could be described as 'pants'.

Over in America, pants are trousers, so I don't think the point really gets across as well as it should. But over here, pants are underwear. Generally, pants are what we call men's underwear, while the fabulous word for women's unmentionables is 'knickers'.  I love that word, 'knickers'. I use it almost as much as I use 'pants'. It's just funny to say (or it is to me, at any rate).

Anywho, knickers aside (the best thing for them, really *winks*), I'm talking about pants, so I'll get back to it. I thought I'd try to categorize real pants against the things that we use them to describe (if that makes sense).

First we have the y-fronts. Now, to me, this is probably the most commonly used comparison when we are describing something that is particularly lame, because let's face it, y-fronts are the most boring underwear on the planet. The y-front brings to mind middle-aged men with pot bellies, belly button fluff, and string vests. *shudders* At the moment, I am thinking specifically about y-fronts when I say that I think the Twilight phenomena is complete and utter pants.

Next up, we have boxer shorts. Boxer shorts are required attire for males over the age of four, but under the age of 21. They're comfortable, and don't have to be removed for various activities (great for the younger males, who may need the loo in a hurry, and fantastic for the older males, who like easy navigation for an entirely different reason altogether). Boxer shorts are, in fact, probably the perfect underwear choice for males all over the world. For descriptive purposes, I would be thinking of boxer shorts if I were using 'pants' to describe a movie or a book that perhaps used a tried and tested structure in order to tell the story (taking the easy way out, as it were).

Lastly (for the men, that is. There are probably more forms of underwear for the males of our species, but being a woman I have limited knowledge), we have briefs. Now, briefs are the choice for males past the age of getting it out for all and sundry, so it is difficult to give an age range. Some men reach this level of maturity in their early twenties, others are in their forties before they decide they've sown their final oats. Then there are the men who don't like any kind of planting at all (usually these are the men who wear y-fronts), and the men who have the need to garden for their entire lives (chronic boxer short wearers). So brief wearers are definitely hard to generalise. Anyway, briefs are the pants that I think of when I describe everyday things that are stupid/lame/crud etc. Like when I've been waiting an hour for a bus, and I say 'Cardiff Bus are pants'. Or if I buy a sack of potatoes and they boil away to nothing when I cook them (what a pants bag of spuds they were!). It makes sense that you can't generalise the items you would describe as the brief form of pants, seeing as you can't generalise the type of man who wears them, yes? (Of course it doesn't make sense at all, but seeing as this blog post is definitely pants (of the boxer short variety), then I'm not really worried).

So there we have it. A quick (pants) blog about how and why I use 'pants' as a word to describe anything from bad movies to crappy potatoes.  As a last thought though, I'd like to add that I think pants are pants too. I mean, honestly, what is the point of them? The y-front wearers would do much better without them (it would improve their image no end), the boxer short wearers don't need them (they want easy access, and surely easier access would be better achieved without wearing any pants at all), and the brief wearers are so middle-of-the-road when it comes to their choice, that surely it would suit their Not Fussy attitude just as much if they chose to go 'Commando' instead.

Pants? Why bother?


  1. *stands and claps*

    I had NO IDEA that by pants you always referred to UNDERpants! I've been advocating THAT kind of pant-free for even longer than I've been advocating an elimination of PANTS! In fact one of my college dorm mates told me when she found me that I was the person who introduced her to the idea of going commando as long ago as 1984 (it's true).

    And I agree with your assessment of pants... Sam is definitely a boxer guy--once fully potty trained I bought some boxers and some... the longer y-fronty things--you didn't cover those--and he decided full on that boxers were his gig--I've always preferred them to everything but nothing myself...

    I don't think they even SELL what you call 'briefs' in the US. I only ever see y-fronts (tidy whiteys), the longer briefs (hubby's choice) and boxers.

    Your comment though of boxers as the 'easy way out' -BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! how fitting!

    I tried to mark you as giraffy, but then remembered where I was...

  2. I might (not) interest you to know that I have never once purchased a pair of pants in 23 years on the planet. I get them from relatives at Xmas.

    Pant season is looming for me. It's terrifying.

  3. Tami - you didn't KNOW that I was talkimg about men's underwear?? *faints*

    I want to be marked as girrafy. *pouts*

    MJ - *lights candle* I bet you just LOVE this time of year. [/sarcasm]


    Sorry... your post just reminded me of my friend Eli who used to periodically yell that.

  5. This reminds me of a story... It was a few years back, a nice bright June in England. I had travelled to Surrey to visit the parents of my then girflriend. Somewhere during the flight over my suitcase had taken a separate trip to Ireland. This was no problem, the airline assured me matter of factly, and I would have my clothes within two days.

    It definitely was not a problem since I carry a knapsack just for this reason. Inside I have essential gear: (2)shirts, (2)socks, (2)undergarments, (some)books, (1)towel, (many)miscellaneous. I normally do not carry extra trousers as everyone knows you can get a good 3 days out of a pair of blue jeans without anyone noticing.

    The first two days of my trip, prior to my clothes arriving, were very eventful. I visited stonehenge, avesbury stone circle, her parents yacht club, and bodiam castle. Needles to say, my blue jeans were filthy and I was embarassed. Only it would get worse, the night of the 2nd was a proper sit-down dinner w/polite conversation.

    Unfortunately nobody had warned me about "pants" and, also unfortunately, I was attempting to speak perfectly proper in order to impress the parents who were not only Typically-British, but well-off too. Being the polite and proper person I am, my first order of business was to apologize for my disheveled apperance:

    "I truly hope my luggage arrives tomorrow, I wasn't carrying any spare pants in my backpack and I'm tired of wearing these soiled ones"

    This elicited (1) brief look of curiousity, (1) choked cough from girlfriend, and (many) fits of mirth. My brain being addled by the table wine missed the look and choke, and interpreted the mirth as indication of how charming I was.

    Fortunately my girlfriend kicked me in the shin and politely leaned over to tell me that pants were, indeed, underwear.

    Kevin: Charming & Sophisticated? /Fail

  6. *dies laughing* Hahaha, what a great story! This is why I LOVE the differences between American and Briish english. Another favorite is 'fanny'. *dues again*

    Tami - HA! Random outburts of pants are always funny. *smirks*