Social Question

josie's avatar

Why is the article of clothing that men wear under their slacks NEVER called "underpants"?

Asked by josie (30926points) June 6th, 2012

They are called underwear, shorts, briefs, boxers, etc. But never underpants. Why not?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

ccrow's avatar

Hey, don’t forget ‘tighty whiteys’!!

ucme's avatar

Yeah, they’re called underpants over here in england town, at least the old fashioned crappy y-front type are.

ucme's avatar

I prefer the term budgie smugglers, although I wear the commando range myself.

GladysMensch's avatar

Banana hammock

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds too much like panties I guess, too feminine. Underpants is correct though, and would be understood. I haven’t heard it used in a long time.

Avangelo's avatar

To me I would just feel childish and stupid saying it. Underpants just feels uncomfortable to say.

jca's avatar

For men’s underwear, I like the term “underpanties.” Sounds so much funnier than underwear!

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Yeah, I say panties sometimes teasing. Usually I Spanish it up when I am going that route and say panteletas.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I think @JLeslie is on the right track and would take it further by saying that the term ‘underpants’ is a more common term used for children, male or female in the US. While underpants is still an acceptable term for women, ‘panties’ is usually used. Case in point.

@ucme also makes a good point. In the UK, they are referred to as ‘underpants’ or ‘pants’. If we Americans were to compliment a Brit on their pants, it makes for a bit of an awkward moment, unless they are in a private setting and don’t have trousers on.

Kardamom's avatar

Guess you didn’t grow up in the South, nor do you have kids. My southern relatives always called them underpants and little kids also call them that.

Kardamom's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer and @ucme I still get a kick out of the Brits calling them knickers.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kardamom I haven’t heard someone from the UK use the term ‘knickers’, so I’ll leave that for @ucme to address. Clothing terms can lead to all sorts of confusion. I still laugh when the SO talks about wearing jumpers because it is cold.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Wait, I am supposed to have something on underneath my pants?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought Are you from the US? If so, then no…that’s called Going Commando. If you are from the UK, then the answer is just plain ‘no’. If you are in the striptease industry, layers might be appropriate in order to prolong the show.

fundevogel's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Wait. Do you mean pants as in trousers or pants as in knickers?

Bellatrix's avatar

I have heard men’s undergarments called underpants and I have definitely used the term. “Do you need new underpants”. Maybe it’s a British thing. We do also say knickers – although it always strikes me as an old fashioned word. I am more likely to say ‘undies’.

augustlan's avatar

Hey, don’t forget Captain Underpants! Seriously, though, in the US the term seems to only apply to children’s underwear. It really doesn’t seem to make any sense, though. Underpants is the perfect description.

On a side note, I hate the word ‘panties’. I use the term underwear, for both men’s and women’s, um, underwear.

ucme's avatar

Knickers are girls pants, unless you happen to be David Beckham.

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