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February 17, 2022


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Here in Australia, we encounter both British and American terms, besides our own, for all sorts of things, including underwear, so Australians would probably understand a wider variety of terms than the average Briton or American, not that we would all necessarily use all of them.

With respect to 'pants', I saw this recently. It is presumably to written to help British readers.

'A grand, recent tradition of the Winter Olympics has bitten the dust after Norway’s men’s curling team took to the ice on Wednesday for their opening match in Beijing wearing plain dark blue trousers. In recent Games the elaborate designs on their trousers – often referred to as pants in American English usage – had become a highlight of the curling competition.'

By the way, the heading for the article was: 'The wrong trousers? Norway’s plain display disappoints curling fans'. That's a Wallace and Gromit allusion there.

Posting this data point here for posterity, though I'll say it on Twitter too: Within the past 10 years, I myself heard an older Boston native refer to underpants as "drawers" (locally pronounced "draws," of course.) I was getting a shot in the spine and he needed me to lower my drawers (and the stretchy pants over them) by a couple of inches. Pretty sure it's the only time I've ever heard it in current use.

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