Undie party

Article published on April 2, 2008
Article published on April 2, 2008

Before we call the fashion police on the Germans, we must (in die Hose gehen) - ‘go into the trousers’ to find out what went wrong. For example, are Beinkleid (dress trousers in German) still in fashion? Today’s trendy young Europeans are into their washed out blue denims and skinny jeans. But what will come back next? Baggy pants or Bermuda shorts? Will the English cigarette trousers (skinny trousers) battle the German Karottenpants (carrot trousers)?

European words for trousers – like pantaloni (Italian), pantalon (French), broek (Dutch), püksid (Estonian) - often lend plenty of scope to new poetic literary creations. The word dungarees, for the baggy trousers that the English traditionally wear as children, has Hindi etymological roots, meaning ‘coarse heavy lasting cotton’. The Frenchwoman’s zoologically inspired pantalon patte d’éléphant (‘elephant trousers’) are the UK’s version of flared trousers, otherwise titled broek met slag in Dutch or Schlaghose in German – (literally meaning ‘beat trousers’, from trousers so big they trip you up and make you fall, hence ‘beating’ you). An alternative French word for flared trousers is salopette, which comes from the verb ‘saloper’ (‘to get your clothes dirty’), like the German word for ‘bib’ (Latzhose - ‘bib trousers’).

To get saucier, Schnellfickerhose (‘fuck-me trousers’) are tracksuit pants which come off easily. The Germans certainly know how to hit below the waist; where else do beautiful words for zipper come from like Hosenscheißer (‘trouser shitter’, or another word for a baby or a scaredy-cat) and Hosenstall (‘trouser stable’)? The French often permit themselves to a little fête du slip (‘underwear party’). But its German grannie pant meanwhile have a bad reputation of being unsexiest in Europe, but they would answer Jacke wie Hose (‘jacket like trousers’) - I couldn’t give a toss.

Listen to the phrases:


German:In die Hose gehen


Jacke wie Hose

French:« salopette»

pantalon patte d’éléphant