Going commando

While reading an article about Jennifer Lopez’s Grammy Award show dress, the phrase “going commando” was used. I’ve seen it a couple of other times, and it seems from the context that it means when a woman is not wearing panties and/or underwear.

My question is how did this expression arise? My best WAG is that it implies the woman is, like a commando, ready for immediate action. But this etymology seems fairly indirect as well as pretty crude for a family magazine.

I’ve heard that Navy SEALs don’t wear underwear, since they are always either soaked with seawater or sweating a lot. Underwear doesn’t help with either…

I don’t know about other kinds of commandos, but it stands to reason that they are also either boiling hot or soaked with water a lot of the time.

I’ve only come across this expression once (on an episode of Friends). In that context it was used to decribe any male as well as any female not wearing underwear.

I’ve always interpreted it as

  1. Doing without the unnecessary niceties of normal society.
  2. Specifically going without underwear.

Sue from El Paso

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.