Tuesday, October 6, 2009

that's PANTS!

several months after moving to england, i learned an alternative use for the word "pants." something that "is pants" is not good.

a couple weeks after i learned this new phrase, a funny thing happened in the astronomy department where i work. i was walking down the hall, and as i passed by a particular professor's office door, i happened to glance in just at the moment that he sat back, threw his hands up in the air, and started waving them angrily at his computer yelling "that's PANTS!!!!!"

it was hilarious!

who knows what i would have thought if i hadnt just recently learned the meaning!


carolune said...

Ha ha ha!

When I first arrived in the UK for my PhD, I learnt two new expressions: 'I can't be bothered' & 'I can't be arsed' (both from fellow PhD students - I wonder if that's significant - anyway).

My English was good but not good enough to understand colloquial expressions and I'm definitely too naive to assume the expressions were rude. Therefore I candidly understood the latter as 'I can't be asked', which made sense to me.... until I used it with some fancy professor.


Moving to the UK was definitely a culture shock :)

Unknown said...

uh oh - apparently i dont know what "I can't be arsed" means. carolune, help!

i learned the wrong way that "buggered" and "knackered" have different meanings!

carolune said...

Well, it means that you don't want to do something, usually because you have better things to do.

Have you been an hour early at a meeting because it was taking place at half 4? (meaning half past 4 in the UK and half past 3 any other germanic country...)

Good luck and keep the stories coming please :)

Andy W said...

"Can’t be arsed" = "can't be bothered", from 'arse', which is slang for buttocks.

Big Mark 243 said...

... what does 'knackered' mean then?

lalamandala said...


and don't think that when you say your pissed that it means what you think it means!

Ed said...

'knackered' means tired when applied to a person or, I'd say, animal, broken (probably beyond repair) when applied to something inanimate.

While visiting the U.S. I was on the edge of a conversation where they were discussing an, obviously male, person wearing red suspenders. Until I twigged the language difference I thought it remarkably liberal for a fairly conservative small-town environment that it was the colo{u}r which was thought to be the aspect worth remarking on.