One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A feeble or effeminate man.
- ‘It's about sushi-gobbling pantywaists in the luxury boxes playing out their fantasies.’
- ‘Imagine my disgust at having to sit in the dark with ascot-wearing pantywaists who call the movies ‘cinema’ and smoke imported cigarettes.’
- ‘Ultimately the little roughneck escapes, and she bonds with the town's nerdy little pantywaist.’
- ‘Then again, it turns out that, as a nation, Sweden could drink any steak-eating New Yorker pantywaist under the table. 46 litres of spirits a year?’
- ‘He has devised the word ‘Guardianistas’, for the pantywaists (nervous nellies) who read this paper and have an occasional reservation about American foreign policy.’
attributive Effeminate or feeble.‘the pantywaist musicians with their poodle haircuts’
- ‘Her pantywaist father denies her nothing.’
- ‘As for violence, though there is tripping in soccer, it is a pantywaist affair when compared to the ruffians of ice hockey or the fearful hitting of pro football.’
- ‘‘Did that set him off on one of his tirades about machismo, the Right Stuff, and pantywaist New Men?‘she asked scornfully.’
- ‘Was it not enough that I had to endure 40 hours a week with them in desultory conversations about which books to ‘face out,’ in something defined by that pantywaist word, ‘chat’?’
- ‘Just because I like to look at animals doesn't mean I'm some damn pantywaist tree-hugger.’
1930s: extended use of the term's literal sense ‘child's garment consisting of panties attached to a bodice’.
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