What does “not wearing pants” mean to you?

In the following statements, and similar ones:

“The great thing about working from home is I don’t have to wear pants!”
“I’m not wearing pants right now!”

What do you imagine the speaker is referring to?

  • Wearing nothing at all
  • Wearing just underwear
  • Wearing shorts
  • Something else

0 voters

The phrase “not wearing pants” indicates I probably shouldn’t participate in this thread but I’m doing it anyway.

So, the first thing I can think of is this is a fertile question because English phrases mean different things to different people in different locations.

I vote for “wearing shorts” because that’s what I have been doing since I began working from home: wearing shorts!

All I know is doing something without wearing pants is called “Chicago-style”

Doesn’t “Chicago style” mean the pants have deep pockets?

It means any of the above.

To me it means wearing underwear though technically it could mean wearing shorts or some other form of outer layer that does not have long legs. To someone from the UK it would mean not wearing underwear (pants).

Indeed, that’s what I had in mind when I mentioned the existence of varying usage.

But to someone working from home, the ability of not wearing pants I think implies the fact that you can just put on your shorts and have a teleconference as long as your shirt is okay. Wearing underwear or wearing no underwear at all are not really practical solutions due to hygiene reasons, in my opinion of course.

To me it means not wearing underwear. Of course, you might just be going commando…

American here. For us, “underwear” (or “underpants”) is the typically legless garment that covers your genitals and buttocks (more or less) and fits directly against your skin. “Pants” are the long-legged outer garment you wear over your underwear.

“Not wearing pants”, interpreted literally, would mean only that the long-legged garment is absent. That literal interpretation wouldn’t preclude the presence of shorts or a skirt, but if I wanted to communicate to someone that I was wearing shorts or a skirt, I would not tell them “I’m not wearing pants.” To me, that phrase means I am wearing nothing but underwear on my lower half.

American English-speaker here -

To me, shorts are also pants - specifically, short pants. Not wearing pants means wearing neither long nor short pants.

Basically, if it has two legs and I’d wear it outdoors (and it’s not a bathing suit), it’s pants.

It means the wiener has been dragged through the garden.

Of all these, wearing shorts comes closer. To me, it’s wearing anything but long trousers.


British-English speaker, it means ‘something else’ - ie not necessarily naked, you might just be going commando underneath your TROUSERS

To me, it implies a sufficient state of undress that one would not go out in public in such a state. That might mean just undies, or it might mean completely bottomless, or it might mean total nudity top and bottom, but it probably doesn’t include shorts. Literally speaking, it could mean a skirt, dress, or kilt, but that’s obviously not what’s implied in context.

Nope. Cite

I voted “just wearing underwear,” which is what it generally means to me. That said, I’m wearing full-length pajama bottoms now. I might consider that “not wearing pants” as well. Like, I know I’ve said during this quarantine something along the lines of “it’s always a good day when I don’t have to put on pants,” even when wearing pajama bottoms. So I guess I consider sleepwear as “not wearing pants.” Of course, it’s something I would never go out in public with, as well (well, not past the general vicinity of my property. Certainly not to a store or anything.) That said, not everyone shares that rule. I’ve always told my wife, if you ever catch me at Target wearing pajama pants, you know I’ve given up on life. So it may be just my quirk to consider them “not wearing pants.”

Dude. It’s time to cut the grass.

If someone said “I’m taking this Zoom meeting without wearing pants!”, I’d assume they were in their underwear. “Without pants” sounds scandalous. Wearing shorts feels more like “…without having to wear these stupid khakis” or something.

If they revealed they actually meant that they were in their sweats or pajama bottoms or something, I wouldn’t bother debating the point.

To me it means, “I am dressed immodestly”. Pants is just a metaphor, like how “getting into her pants” can apply to someone wearing a skirt.