In her Chicago Tribune article, Louise Kiernan says that the word "panties" makes women cringe. (Login for the Trib: kegz03/kegz03) She prefers underwear because "Underwear is a neutral term. Underwear could be a rhinestone embroidered snowflake thong from Victoria's Secret or your grandmother's nylon waisties." Panties are "lacy, filmy, schoolgirl-naughty." Certainly there is a time and a place for using one word over the other, but do women really cringe upon hearing the word? Do men cringe on hearing it in the wrong environment? Are you cringing because I'm even asking this question?
To me, panties are little-girly; cotton and flimsy, but definitely not lacy. The advent of frequent thong-donning in my life has given me a new way of distinguishing the sexy from practical; "underwear," of course, describing the latter.
Tori! I agree with you 100%. Panties: little-girly, yes. All cotton, maybe with a floral bud pattern. And there's something about the hard "t" in "panties" that sounds like my tongue is slapping the roof of my mouth when I say it. I just hate that word. I prefer using no word at all. For example, the husband asks, "Did you buy anything at the mall?" I respond, "Umm... one little thing..." "How much?" "It wasn't very expensive... and I promise you'll like it. I promise!"
I prefer "underpants" to any of them as an all-encompassing word for these garments. It generally makes people laugh (especially when referring to a lacy thong as "underpants") and this way no one takes you seriously EVER...and that is my ultimate goal.
Jay, everytime you sign as 'JB', all I can picture is some balding advertising exec with his feet on the desk and a cigar in his mouth circa 1963. Don't ask where that came from. And no worries, you are successful at your goal.
Try asking a guy about his panties.
Yep, I also agree that panties are little girlie. I always use underwear for everything - sounds practical, but you never know what you are going to get!
I am just finishing "Valley of the Dolls" and in those days, the girls called them just "pants".
I'd like to bring it back but i think it would cause confusion....
"Do men cringe on hearing it in the wrong environment?"
I still meant in reference to women's...ahem...undergarments. Some guys are extra prudish about what they say, especially in the company of women.
I knew an underwear conversation would wake everyone up today.
As y'all are probably well aware, "pants" is still used in the UK to refer to undergarments. I was working with a gaggle of Brits/Irish/Scots a few years ago in Europe and I caused several of my colleagues to break into fits of laughter whenever I forgot to substitute "trousers" in sentences such as "I spilled on my pants," "I need to change my pants," and "What pants are you going to wear tonight?"
One English guy I worked with had an alter-ego named "Mr. Pants" who came out late at night at bars after a few too many beers.
Ms. Keep-it-in-your-pants was probably not happy about that.
Has anyone ever noticed the double-meaning of "pants" -- just like the double-meaning of "sweats?" Hmmm...
Out in these parts (i took a poll at work) I hear the majority of my patients calling them "chawnies" I guess it's some Mexican slang word for underwear...since I hate panties and underwear's too boring for me; i may take up the whole chawnies thing for a bit
Ugh. Panties. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. I do like the idea of purchasing "What Would Jesus Do" *underwear*. Very tongue in cheek. No pun intended.