drop trou

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu May 3 03:39:54 UTC 2007

On Wed, May 02, 2007 at 11:27:41PM -0400, James Harbeck wrote:
> I find with interest that "drop trou" (drop your trousers), which I
> would have taken to have a British origin, only gets 222 Google hits
> on .uk sites out of a total of 30,800 worldwide (and 228 for .au
> sites). That doesn't mean it doesn't come from Britain, of course.
> I'm trying to think of the best way of tracking down the origin of
> this one. I just found it in a 1986 article in the New York Times
> Magazine, so it's not as recent as all that -- but the other two NYT
> hits were 1998 and 1999. A Factiva search of newspapers gives me a
> citation from 1979 from the Toronto Globe and Mail.


> But perhaps y'all have other data?

HDAS has a 1971 (oral), 1974, and then 1980 in the Official
Preppy Handbook. Certainly my mental association has always
been with the preppy sort of speaker, these also being the
type who have _trousers_ as a more active part of their speech
than most Americans (whether naturally or as affectation).

Perhaps JEL can describe the social type of the 1971 speaker?

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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