Trousers vs. Pants

By Jaxson

  • Trousers

    Trousers (British English) or pants (American English) are an item of clothing that might have originated in East Asia, worn from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately (rather than with cloth extending across both legs as in robes, skirts, and dresses).

    In the United Kingdom, the word pants generally means underwear and not trousers. Shorts are similar to trousers, but with legs that come down only to around the area of the knee, higher or lower depending on the style of the garment. To distinguish them from shorts, trousers may be called “long trousers” in certain contexts such as school uniform, where tailored shorts may be called “short trousers”, especially in the UK.

    The oldest known trousers are found at the Yanghai cemetery in Turpan, Xinjiang, western China, dated to the period between the 13th and the 10th centuries BC. Made of wool, the trousers had straight legs and wide crotches, and were likely made for horseback riding.In most of Europe, trousers have been worn since ancient times and throughout the Medieval period, becoming the most common form of lower-body clothing for adult males in the modern world, although shorts are also widely worn, and kilts and other garments may be worn in various regions and cultures. Breeches were worn instead of trousers in early modern Europe by some men in higher classes of society. Distinctive formal trousers are traditionally worn with formal and semi-formal day attire. Since the mid-20th century, trousers have increasingly been worn by women as well.

    Jeans, made of denim, are a form of trousers for casual wear widely worn all over the world by both sexes. Shorts are often preferred in hot weather or for some sports and also often by children and adolescents. Trousers are worn on the hips or waist and may be held up by their own fastenings, a belt or suspenders (braces).

  • Trousers (noun)

    An article of clothing that covers the part of the body between the waist and the ankles or knees, and is divided into a separate part for each leg.

    “The trousers need to be shortened.”

    “Why can women wear trousers when men can’t wear skirts?”

  • Pants (noun)

    An outer garment that covers the body from the waist downwards, covering each leg separately, usually as far as the ankles; trousers. from 19th c.

  • Pants (noun)

    An undergarment that covers the genitals and often the buttocks and the neighbouring parts of the body; underpants. from 19th c.

  • Pants (noun)

    Rubbish; something worthless.

    “You’re talking pants!”

    “The film was a load [or pile] of pants.”

  • Pants (adjective)

    Of inferior quality, rubbish.

    “Your mobile is pants — why don’t you get one like mine?”

  • Pants (noun)

    underpants or knickers.

  • Pants (noun)


    “corduroy pants”

    “wide pant legs”

  • Pants (noun)

    rubbish; nonsense

    “he thought we were going to be absolute pants”

Oxford Dictionary

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