trou (1970)

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Dec 26 15:00:14 UTC 2006

I can't furnish a citation, but I vividly recall a sign outside a commercial laundry in Austin in the mid-1960s (definitely no later than 1968) that said "Drop trou here."

The experession was new to me, and I think I associated it (no doubt stereotyping in unattractive ways) with Chinese-American English.  Certainly not with New Zealandish!

The launderer, using the expression in a jocularly allusive way, evidently assumed it was widely familiar (in preppier circles than I moved in!).


---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 00:37:02 -0500
>From: Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
>Subject: trou (1970)
>The latest OED draft entry for "trou" as a clipped form of "trousers" identifies it as a New Zealandism, with a first cite of 1970. And the phrase "drop trou" = 'pull down one's pants' is identified as "orig. and chiefly U.S." with a first cite of 1976. This might suggest that "trou" somehow traveled from New Zealand to the U.S. in the '70s. But here's a U.S. cite from 1970:

The American Dialect Society -

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