Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! (1970)

James C. Stalker stalker at MSU.EDU
Tue Sep 9 01:58:49 UTC 2003

Well, some  Louisvillians did have part of the saying.  I checked with my wife,
wives being obviously impeccable sources, who had a random childhood growing up in
Louisville and southern Indiana, for the most part. She confirms that "liar, liar,
pants on fire" was a common saying (perhaps more accurately an accusation), but
without the nose and telephone part.  I who lived my whole first 18 years in
southern Jefferson County, not technically Louisville, used the term regularly.
Sometimes, a river runs through it.

Jim Stalker

"Dennis R. Preston" wrote:

> The full form (as I am told by mu wife, Milwaukee, childhood memory
> from early 50s) is
> Liar, liar, pants on fire
> Nose as long as a telephone wire.
> Us Louisvillians had no such pome.
> dInIs
> >    I found an article about this in VERBATIM and was wondering about a dating.
> >    FWIW:  I'm a lawyer, but I've never worn hot pants.
> >
> >
> >       Things for Children to See in the City
> >               New York Times  (1857-Current file).       New York,
> >N.Y.: Apr 8, 1970.                   p. 69 (1 page):
> >       Plays
> >LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE! at 2 P.M. Saturday at Public School 87,
> >West 78th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues.
> --
> Dennis R. Preston
> University Distinguished Professor
> Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
>       Asian & African Languages
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
> e-mail: preston at
> phone: (517) 432-3099

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