One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American Loose-fitting trousers gathered at the knee or calf.
- ‘The RSS has been advised to switch over to trousers, abandoning its trademark khaki knickers.’
2British A woman's or girl's underpants.
- ‘When she fell her mini skirt rose up, showing her stripy knickers.’
- ‘You might fancy her in red lace, but is it really what she wants? Take a look in her knicker drawer when the moment is right and see what she buys for herself.’
- ‘She greeted me at the door wearing only her bra and knickers, and a seductive smile.’
- ‘She stripped down to her knickers and bra and crawled into the other bed.’
- ‘She smiled at me and performed a pirouette, her skirt rising up to reveal a flash of white knickers.’
- ‘I showered, got changed into my black lacy French knickers and a black vest, had 3 glasses of wine and lay on the bed waiting for him to come home.’
get one's knickers in a twist
informal Become upset or angry.
- ‘Why is the Department of Health getting its knickers in a twist about STIs?’
- ‘It's been accused of rampant misogyny but the men are so pitiful and the show so unfunny that I won't be getting my knickers in a twist about the sexism.’
- ‘So for heaven's sake, let's not get our knickers in a twist about it.’
- ‘The Tories have really got their knickers in a twist over this.’
- ‘The reason I got my knickers in a twist over this story is that these guys are cheerfully ploughing ahead with a programme based on severely flawed technology.’
- ‘Ok, now don't get your knickers in a twist, I know it's a good game, but it seems to me that a lot of people say a lot of stupid things when they're talking about the Super Bowl.’
- ‘She's got her knickers in a twist about something.’
- ‘But the former first lady didn't get her knickers in a twist.’
- ‘Before you get your knickers in a twist this is not my opinion.’
- ‘Masts can be disguised or even concealed completely so there is nothing unsightly for members of the local planning committee or Civic Society to get their knickers in a twist about.’
Late 19th century (in the sense ‘short trousers’): abbreviation of knickerbockers (see knickerbocker).
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