Your big-boy pants

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 13 17:15:00 UTC 2014

Watching and listening, I interpreted the precise contextual meaning not to
be "bite the bullet" (take action no matter how unpleasant) but to "grow up
and deal with the real world."

Mudd was saying that the Presdent is morally and Constitutionally obligated
to try to rescue any citizen from unlawful captivity abroad, and if that
required negotiating with the Taliban, so be it.

He was criticizing as irrelevant claims that Bergdahl was a "deserter" and
that the US was "caving" to the Talis. He acknowledged that the five
released prisoners could cause trouble later, but that was also secondary.
"There ain't no good decisions" meant that no political decision is simple,
safe, guaranteed, and unproblematic.



On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:

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> Poster:       Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Your big-boy pants
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> In the example Jonathan gave, I think the expression "strap your big boy
> pants on" would mean something like "bite the bullet."  But it can also
> mean "not act immature or cowardly."
> Charlie
> ________________________________________
>      Christopher Philippo wrote:
> On Jun 13, 2014, at 8:32 AM, Jonathan Lighter
> wrote:
> > Philip Mudd, ex-CIA analyst, on CNN re Bergdahl:
> >=20
> > "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 =93you gotta strap your big-boy pants on=94 is =
> unclear to me - is it: grow up/don=92t be a baby?
> By strap, I suppose a belt is meant.  The use of =93big-boy=94 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 =93government=94 in Afghanistan, and he speaks only =
> English and French and not Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, Berber, Farsi, =
> Pushto, Punjabi, Urdu, etc. one wonders why he=92s listened to at all. =
> Chris=
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