Definition of Bombay bloomers in English:

Bombay bloomers

plural noun

NZ, Australian
  • Men's long, loose-fitting shorts.

    ‘even for swimming, he wore his ubiquitous Bombay bloomers’
    • ‘All is going well as I slip on a tunic and shimmy into what can only be described as a pair of Bombay bloomers.’
    • ‘Shown is a doctor's summer uniform of WWI, complete with Bombay bloomers and pith helmet.’
    • ‘He had bought some Bombay bloomers of a more modern cut, which inferred he was a respectable old gent keeping up reasonably with the times.’
    • ‘Some of those guys are so out of date they are still thinking about boots and puttees and Bombay bloomers.’
    • ‘Pictured are the oldest and youngest members of the battalion, wearing their Bombay bloomers.’
    • ‘Indian-made Bombay bloomers and Egyptian-made bush shirts were often converted in minor ways by the soldiers.’
    • ‘Not much appreciated were the Bombay bloomers, which were shorts with full turn-ups that could be folded, either up or down, but were found to be impractical.’
    • ‘Here we see some fine sets of Kiwi knees and Bombay bloomers inspecting an unexploded naval shell at Enfidaville, Tunisia.’
    • ‘When summer clothes were issued, the unlovely Bombay bloomers at last came into their own, being unhitched and let down below the knee at dusk.’
    • ‘The man at the right has the haversack in the 'alert' position, and note the deep, buttoned turn-ups of his Bombay bloomers.’


1940s: from their resemblance to British military-issue shorts worn in tropical postings.