Pants Pants (*pants*)

Over at Affinity, Caine’s been working on a pair of freethought pants. I approve. But when I read the title, I burst out laughing for no reason that would have made sense to anyone, except the people at a company where I used to work back in 1997…

pantsOne day, before a party, one of the software engineers had been listening to a comedian (I forget who) doing a bit about how “pants” and “chicken” were inherently funny. I’m not sure how it happened, but we got into a playful argument about “pants” and it got funny. Then, someone suggested that a better game would be to take famous sayings and quotes and replace a word in them with “pants”; alcohol was involved, but we laughed so hard some of us ached the next day.

A few I remember that were particularly good:

“Friends, Romans, countrymen – lend me your pants.” – Mark Antony

“I sense a tremor in the pants.” – Darth Vader

‘You must be the change you wish to see in the pants.” – Ghandi

“Courage is not the absence of pants, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon

“Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no pants.” – John Wilmot

“Pants! Pants! My kingdom for some pants!” – Richard III

“The richest man is not he who has the pants, but he who needs the least.” – Unknown

“I find you lack of pants … disturbing.” – Darth Vader

“Governor Tarkin, I should have expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul pants when I was brought on board.” – Leia Organa

pantsplease do carry on.

Apparently the game took off. [ebaumsworld]


  1. cartomancer says

    Yes… sounds much more sexual to an Englishman. To us “pants” are intimate undergarments.

    I am mentally replacing those references with “trousers” – which is a much funnier word to English ears. Particularly ones that were brought up on Blackadder III and can’t get Hugh Laurie’s Prince George out of the head when hearing it.

    “Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the trousers that have been tried” – Winston Churchill
    “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the trousers of heaven” – Matthew 19:24
    “Read my trousers, no new taxes” – Ronald Reagan, 1988
    “And on the pedestal, these words appear: I am Ozymandias, King of Kings, gaze upon my trousers ye mighty and despair!” – Percy Bysse Shelley.

  2. Brian English says

    Some of those are giggle worthy!

    Carto, given that Strine is just transported cockney with some Americanisms and a dingo or 3, I would have thought pants would mean trousers and underpants meant undies. Must be one of those Americanisms.

    Veni, vidi panti tui!

    Pueri Puellis panti dant
    Futuete et pantum tuum!

    Probably doesn’t work.

  3. Brian English says

    Panta delenda est?

    Gallia est omnis divisa in pantes tres

    How did I miss that one? Chapeau Sir, chapeau!

    ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Panti appellantur

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    The words for different kinds of pants seem to get mixed between languages. While trousers may be (outerwear) pants in British English, trosor are Swedish for women’s panties (men’s underpants are kalsonger, trousers are byxor). And then Germans and Finns use a words resembling hose for trousers (Hose, housut).

  5. Sunday Afternoon says

    Been there, done that!

    One of the group I used to hang out with when a teenager was in the habit of singing along with songs and when he got to words he didn’t know, substituted “scooby” instead – a pun on the local slang of “hasn’t got a scooby” meaning someone is clueless.

    One memorable afternoon another friend and I had great fun with the first pointing this out, and as we were/still are die-hard Queen fans, started substituting words in the titles of Queen songs with “scooby” instead. Being somewhat obsessive, we went through *all* their albums – we found it hilarious, our friend was very bemused…

    Bohemian Scooby
    Scooby Will Rock You
    Let Me Entertain Scooby
    Another One Bites The Scooby
    Leaving Scooby Ain’t Easy
    All Scooby, All Scooby
    The Fairy Feller’s Scooby-Stroke
    Get Down, Make Scooby

    see, I’ve started again…

  6. says

    I have the gloomy and purposeless trousers of Uncle Vanya, and I’m not afraid to use them.

    Go ahead, punk. Mend my trousers.

    We’re gonna need bigger trousers.

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack-trousers on fire off the arse of Orion. I watched gusset-seams split in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

  7. cartomancer says

    The Latin for trousers is braccae (from which we get “breeches”) though, of course, no Roman worth his salt would be caught dead wearing such barbarian garments. They were even banned under certain late antique sumptuary laws in the reign of Honorius, though legionaries in the far north tended to wear them anyway to keep out the cold.

    As for underwear, most Romans probably didn’t wear any. Though there were garments that resembled modern pants (underpants in America) called subligacula (“little tied-on things underneath”) in cloth or soft leather.

    O tempora! O subligacula! (Cicero – Oh the times! Oh the pants!)
    Solitudinem faciunt, braccae appellant (Tacitus – They create a desolation, and they call it trousers)
    Subligacula virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris Italiam, fato profugus, Laviniaeque venit litora (Vergil – I sing of pants and the man who first came to the shores of Italy and the beaches of Lavinium from Troy)
    In principio creavit Deus braccae et terram (Jerome, Genesis I – In the beginning God created the trousers and the earth)

  8. Brian English says

    Solitudinem faciunt, braccae appellant

    Braccae is nom. pl. so, couldn’t that translate as ‘They create desolation, the pants call.’

    And cue the Monty Python clips from Life of Brian…..
    That word must be related to Spanish for underpants, bragas. A lot of latin words had the c morphed to g in Spanish.

    Deus dixit, fiat braccae, et braccae erant.

  9. cartomancer says

    Mind you, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Aristophanes invented a somewhat similar game in his Frogs (405 BC), where you append the phrase “and he lost his little bottle of oil” to any lines of Euripides you quote to show how formulaic they are.

  10. cartomancer says

    Brian English, #9

    Damn. I knew that changing some of the “subligacula” to “braccae” was a mistake. Those should, of course, both be braccas (being in the accusative), but as they were originally subligacula before I changed them (neuter second declension pl., so the nom. and acc. forms are the same) I forgot to decline them properly. I will now have to go and scrub myself clean with wire wool.

  11. sonofrojblake says

    Ten years previous I played a similar game with song titles and the word “knob”. Think of any song title containing the word “love” or “heart”, and replace it with the word “knob” for comedy effect.
    To get you started:
    Eurythmics: There must be angel playing with my knob.
    Billy Ray Cyrus: My achy breaky knob
    Lionel Richie & Diana Ross: My Endless Knob
    And finaly the painful sounding Cult hit: Knob Removal Machine.

    You’re welcome.

  12. Parse says

    For fortune cookies, if you want a safe(r)-for-work version, you can add (in an ominous tone of voice) “… but at what cost?”

  13. says

    I admit I kind of like “trousers” too.
    “By the trousers of Babylon. Yea, we wept…”

    And sonofrojblake@#12 brings up the idea of using song lyrics and titles, which simply hadn’t occurred to me.

    For example, there were the two smash hits on the internet:
    Psy’ “Gangnam Trousers”
    Adele’s “Pants”

    And who can forget Meatloaf’s amazing
    “Trousers out of Hell”
    with my favorite track:
    “All revved up with no pants to go.”
    “You took the pants right out of my mouth”

    The there’s The Eurythmics’ great song:

    Sweet dreams are made of this
    Who am I to disagree?
    I travel the world
    And the seven seas,
    Everybody’s looking for trousers.

    Arrgh, I could go on.

  14. says

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Trousers on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

    – Roy Batty

  15. Ice Swimmer says

    By Marc Pants:

    Someone’s Gotten Hold of My Pants
    Tainted Pants
    Say Hello Wave Pants
    Pants, Pants, Pants
    The Pants Are Willing
    Almost Pants
    I’ve Never Seen Your Pants
    Stories of Pants

  16. Siobhan says

    Is it possible? –or have I dreamt it? That by means of electric communications the world has become as one giant nerve, vibrating across thousands of pants in a breathless point of time.

  17. Siobhan says

    “Joyfully to the breeze royal Odysseus spread his sail, and with his pants skillfully he steered.”

  18. says

    Ok, that one made me spray tea.

    Seat of the pants FTW. Oooh…

    If power corrupts, weakness in the seat of the pants, with its constant necessity of deals and bribes and compromising arrangements,corrupts even more.

    – Barbara Tuchman

  19. Silentbob says

    There was a popular song in the twenties (okay, I’m old) called The Sheik of Araby and it was a joke at the time to do a call and response thing with the lyrics. So the lyrics go like this:

    I’m the Sheik of Araby,
    Your love belongs to me.
    At night when you’re asleep
    Into your tent I’ll creep.
    The stars that shine above,
    Will light our way to love.
    You’ll rule this land with me;

    And after every line you’d go, “wit’ no pants on”. It was funny. Look, kids, you had to be there, okay.

    Here’s proof.

  20. moarscienceplz says

    Let him who is without pants cast the first stone.
    My pants runneth over.
    O, ye of little pants!
    And it came to pass in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the pants should be taxed.

  21. says

    Buddhist pants:

    – You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your pants.

    – To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own pants.

    – Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without pants.

    – It is a man’s own pants, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

    – Without pants, life is not life; it is only a state of langour and suffering.

    – Even death is not to be feared by one who has pants.