This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Thing Not To Do Today: trouser something.

Britain and the USA, it has often been said, are two nations divided by a common language.*

You say pants (as the song might have gone) and I say trousers...
(though, to be pedantic, I say pants, too. It's just that when I do I'm referring either to rubbish, as in 'it was just pants', or to underpants.)

Anyway, trouser. This word, when used as an action, doesn't quite mean to steal, it's more in the region of grasping a dodgy  opportunity to increase one's wealth. As in 'we all put in a twenty pound note for lunch and he went and trousered the change!'

Or 'what happened to the collection for the orphanage?' 'I expect the council trousered it.'

I don't know why, but the use of this word is a source of deep personal satisfaction.

Sadly, though, I don't think the word is ever used of women.

Not even, in my experience, when wearing a trouser suit.

Velvet Trouser Suit

Thing Not To Do Today: trouser something. The word trouser comes from the Scots Gaelic triubhas, from the Old French trebus.

*Perhaps originally said by either GB Shaw or Oscar Wilde.

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