Pile of pants

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Dec 19 15:39:57 UTC 2000

>BOLLOCKS!  (grin)
>which does actually mean "knackers" - but has nothing to do with "knickers" or
>"pants", both of which denote undergarments and nothing more ....
>"Pile of pants" is exactly what it looks like, a collection of undergarments.
>In Britain is in no way vulgar ....

Partridge agrees with me that "knickers" (as in "Knickers to you!") --
apparently originally a "naughty" school playground word -- is euphemistic
for "knackers". This is the usage upon which "pants" = "rubbish" seems to
be a variation (according to the Cassell dictionary). Of course maybe we're
all full of underwear ....

[The Spears dictionary shows "knick-knacks" = "testicles" (among other
things). Related?]

A person using "pile of pants" may not perceive it as vulgar, any more than
the typical US-an sees anything vulgar about "These numbers are all
bollixed up" or "Your son is a cute little bugger" -- but these all have
"vulgar" origins, I think.

-- Doug Wilson

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