Knickers (was: They're as self-centered as we are!)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 4 16:25:25 UTC 2009

At 11:24 AM -0500 11/4/09, Charles Doyle wrote:
>Here in America, does "underpants" seem more feminine than
>"underwear" or "shorts" or "briefs"?

"undies" certainly seems to.  Maybe "underpants" is more juvenile
than "underwear", but I don't think it's more feminine, given the
contrast with "panties".  I think "underpants" are also more likely
to refer to briefs than boxers, while "underwear" covers (as it were)
both.  This is just off the top of my head (or whatever); googling
would help resolve the issue.


>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 14:47:27 +0000
>>From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> (on behalf
>>of Damien Hall <djh514 at YORK.AC.UK>)
>>Just a note on a branching topic: _knickers_ is the standard BrE
>>locution only for (women's) 'panties', not for (men's) 'underpants'.
>>Damien Hall
>>University of York
>>Department of Language and Linguistic Science
>>YO10 5DD
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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