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  #161  
Old 23 February 2013, 08:16 PM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is online now
 
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Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
Use of the word panties does add some sexual color to the story (especially because you open the story by describing what she's wearing), while substituting "underwear" makes it sort of neutral and removes the sexiness.
What she was wearing is the whole point of the story, since the whole point of the story is "how embarrassing of a thing, but the things I do for that dog and how much trouble she causes" and that's how she often tells it.

Perhaps it's partially just a regional thing. I always grew up hearing "bra and panties" to describe those things while "underwear" was the whole category of stuff that are generally designed to be covered by your outerwear. i.e. a woman's "underwear drawer" is where she keeps bras, panties & even stuff that's sometimes acceptable to wear as outerwear in casual settings like sports bras.

Much like the great coke/pop/soda thing where you grew up influences what you call things and what sounds cringe worthy.

If that whole chasing the dog through the apt complex in undies story had happened to me if I had been outside shirtless and wearing boxershorts I might tell it as "Kaylee slipped under the fence and I ended up chasing her through the apt complex with no pants on." Some of our UK snopesters might take that to mean that I was naked from the waist down while around here most would assume that I was wearing underwear.

A while back on this very BB I remember a poster who said that where she lives those things that cheerleaders wear under their skirts are called "spankies" while around here we always called them "bloomers." I believe that the poster was the mother of a cheerleader and to my ears hearing a tight fitting garment designed to cover your daughter's nether regions as "spankies" sounds dirty and sexualized, but that's just what folks up there call them.

Same with the word "shag." Before Austin Powers many in the US thought that shag was nothing more than a style of carpet that was popular in the 1970s. We thought that using it to mean sexual intercourse was just a nonsense word that Mike Myers made up for those movies. In much of the rest of the English speaking world it's about as well known and offensive as "screwed."
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  #162  
Old 24 February 2013, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fitz1980 View Post
Same with the word "shag." Before Austin Powers many in the US thought that shag was nothing more than a style of carpet that was popular in the 1970s. We thought that using it to mean sexual intercourse was just a nonsense word that Mike Myers made up for those movies. In much of the rest of the English speaking world it's about as well known and offensive as "screwed."
Just as a data point, neither 'shag' nor 'screwed' is particularly offensive here. Maybe a little crass, but that's all.
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  #163  
Old 24 February 2013, 09:51 PM
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Most of the time "screwed" is just used as a euphemism for being in trouble.
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  #164  
Old 25 February 2013, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Hastings View Post
Just as a data point, neither 'shag' nor 'screwed' is particularly offensive here.
"Shag" was ruder before the film came out, though. I was surprised to see it in big letters on the side of the bus at the time.
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  #165  
Old 25 February 2013, 01:53 PM
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A note on knickers...

Odd as it seems, the tone and context of the word 'knickers' is different to 'panties'*, even though the words are similar in many ways. Despite how it sounds to somebody not used to saying knickers, the word has no vestige of cutesy-pie here. It has pretty much the same character, if a word can have character, as 'pants' used to mean men's underpants, commonplace but just a little bit silly and almost, but not entirely, a bit crude. It's equally used to describe what little girls wear and what adult women wear, and you probably won't ever hear it used in a sexy way. You won't see 'knickers' in a lingerie shop. You won't even see 'knickers' on the packaging for the cheapest pair of stretchy cotton briefs in Primark (bizarrely, 'panties' is sometimes used in retail, despite the fact that effectively nobody says that around these 'ere parts). As much as I dread to use the phrase 'down to earth' to describe underwear, for fear of saucy puns, I think 'knickers' has that quality and 'panties' lacks it.

And that is my opinion on knickers. Also, I prefer the high-legged style.

* Based on what people have said on this thread about their opinions of the word 'panties'.
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  #166  
Old 25 February 2013, 02:23 PM
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But Blatherskite, what about the Beatles line from "I am the Walrus": "you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down." That certainly has more than a little suggestion of sexiness, especially coming right after the reference to "pornographic priestess."
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  #167  
Old 25 February 2013, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
But Blatherskite, what about the Beatles line from "I am the Walrus": "you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down." That certainly has more than a little suggestion of sexiness, especially coming right after the reference to "pornographic priestess."
OK, but I would say that sounds more cheeky than sleazy. I've never heard anybody say they thought the word knickers sounds sleazy. Obviously it depends on the context as well, but as a rule I wouldn't think it inappropriate for a man to say 'knickers' even if he didn't know I used the word myself, unless he was referring specifically to my knickers.
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  #168  
Old 25 February 2013, 02:54 PM
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Perhaps it is no more than the expression 'get caught with your pants down' - the sense there of course is being very vulnerable, but the use of the word pants is of course not of particular sexual or trivializing content. Sometimes the expression is used with a sense of the pants being down for sexual purposes (with the metaphorical meaning being to have made oneself vulnerable by something self-indulgent, whereas the broader sense would include any vulnerability, as when the pants are down for the loo or just not up yet in getting dressed: one is still in a vulnerable state, unable to run, respond, etc.), but in most instances I have heard, that is not necessary.
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  #169  
Old 25 February 2013, 03:10 PM
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There was a thunderingly daft Always (?) advert here which used the word, very awkwardly. Perhaps 'sanitary pad' sounds too clinical for advertising, so they used 'panty liners'. It featured a ridiculous yee-ha-hoedown fiddle tune, because the pads were so secure you could ride a mad bucking wild horse- in all 'panty styles'!- and still be all snug and clean. Maybe it had been dubbed but not rewritten; the voiceover had a bouncy SouthEasty accent that made the words sound extra daft.

So I hear 'panties', I first get a loopy down-home faux rodeo tune for an earworm, and secondly start thinking that 'Panty Styles' would be a good name for some sort of comedy newsreader. This, you don't want (well, maybe the second is bearable).

They're all pants to me. (Knickers if you're feeling posh, or invoking the spirit of Terry-Thomas.) So...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
Panties are not pants and it is not a cutesy word for pants even though you think it sounds like it.
Panties are pants here, so regardless of the original derivation it does function as a cutesy diminutive. It's like the animal words small children use: birdies, doggies, kitties, panties.

UK 'pants' has the exceptional bonus of being a great dismissive adjective. Things that are unpleasant in a mild, whingey, wet-bank-holiday way: they're pants.
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  #170  
Old 25 February 2013, 03:12 PM
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"Panty liner" is a standard term here, usually for a product that's designed for ligther flows or for backup with a tampon.
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  #171  
Old 25 February 2013, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz1980 View Post


A while back on this very BB I remember a poster who said that where she lives those things that cheerleaders wear under their skirts are called "spankies" while around here we always called them "bloomers." I believe that the poster was the mother of a cheerleader and to my ears hearing a tight fitting garment designed to cover your daughter's nether regions as "spankies" sounds dirty and sexualized, but that's just what folks up there call them.

."
Spanx is a brand name, not just what folks somewhere call them.
http://www.spanx.com/home/index.jsp
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  #172  
Old 25 February 2013, 03:19 PM
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Spanx are a relatively new product and not, I think, the same as spankies, if spankies are the tight shorts worn under (and perhaps sewn into) cheerleader skirts -- cheerleaders were wearing the latter when I was in high school, decades before Spanx came out.

ETA: I'm not about to google "spankies" at work. :-)
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  #173  
Old 25 February 2013, 03:20 PM
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I know; it's used here with the same connotation but maybe not exclusively? i.e. you could use it for any glue-to-your-pants protective gubbins. (I don't buy them and have no telly, so don't know how they're currently named).
I was thinking the advert might have jammed in all the references to 'panties' so it'd match with what they were calling the product- or it was a dubbed advert- but it came off sounding all fake and giggly-awkward.
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  #174  
Old 26 February 2013, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudding Crawl View Post
They're all pants to me. (Knickers if you're feeling posh[...])
Interesting that you consider 'knickers' more posh. I would maybe say pants if I wanted to be a bit more delicate than knickers. To me, knickers have a coarser feel... er... I could re-word that...
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  #175  
Old 26 February 2013, 09:10 AM
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I say "smalls" if I'm trying to be delicate (rare).
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  #176  
Old 26 February 2013, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
Interesting that you consider 'knickers' more posh. I would maybe say pants if I wanted to be a bit more delicate than knickers. To me, knickers have a coarser feel... er... I could re-word that...
'Pants' is my everyday placeholder word, the one used without thinking. I have to put more effort into 'knickers', so it feels like it's For Best, although I suppose it is a more specific, and so less delicate word. It feels fancier, like they're colourful or decorative, whereas pants are the faded ones losing their elastic.
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  #177  
Old 26 February 2013, 02:20 PM
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How about the classic sidestep of "unmentionables" if you're trying to avoid using a particular word?
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