Your big-boy pants

Christopher Philippo toff at MAC.COM
Fri Jun 13 16:03:12 UTC 2014

On Jun 13, 2014, at 8:32 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> Philip Mudd, ex-CIA analyst, on CNN re Bergdahl:
> "As I said in the past, you gotta strap your big-boy pants on, 'cause there
> ain't no good decisions!"

The overall meaning of “you gotta strap your big-boy pants on” is unclear to me - is it: grow up/don’t be a baby?

By strap, I suppose a belt is meant.  The use of “big-boy” is, ironically, infantile and when followed by a double negative it makes one shudder that an ex-CIA analyst takes pride in repeatedly using the expression.  Given that he specialized in South Asia and the Middle East yet failed to anticipate, detect, or prevent the 9/11 attacks, and that he was involved with Iraq prior to the invasion, and with setting up the new dysfunctional “government” in Afghanistan, and he speaks only English and French and not Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, Berber, Farsi, Pushto, Punjabi, Urdu, etc. one wonders why he’s listened to at all.

The American Dialect Society -

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