It will take a long time for Margaret to forgive Micah for instroducing our family to “Pants Wars,” the foolish game of substituting the word “pants” for some other word in the dialogue of the Star Wars movies. It gets pretty stupid, pretty rapidly.
I located this site with examples, to call to Pippa’s attention; she responded by scouting out this site. I don’t understand using “pants” as a verb — maybe I missed that page of the lexicon.)
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pants (v.) – 1. the act of removing someone else’s trousers or shorts in a public setting, using a stealthy approach and a quick downward pull, for the purpose of (a) humiliating them and, (b) entertaining yourself and those around you who were not your victim.
I should have known it would be Ryan who would beat me to that.
The Sitz im Leben for the verbing of “pants” is, most agree, middle-school gym class, especially the outdoor track and field.
I suspect that it also depends on a development of the “fashion tradition” wherein trousers are no longer worn snugly around the waist, but hanging precipitously at the verge of the buttocks.
If someone had tried to pants anyone in my middle-school days (actually, I didn’t go to middle school, as it hadn’t caught on back then), it would have been a futile enterprise in all but the rarest of cases.
I’d suggest that “pants” is a homograph/phone and the origin be found in an ancient and modern religious musical tradition echoed in the phrase “as the deer pants for the water” or perhaps “as the hart/heart pants for the water”.
Actually, pantsing someone is usually accomplished when said person is wearing elastic-waist pants/shorts – which is why gym classes and lock-ins are prime Sitze im Leben. It’s far too middle-school-preppy an activity to be oriented toward extraordinarily low-slung pants.
Shows how much I know.
Pippa has been accumulating an assortment of “pants” jokes from Episodes One and Two, which I didn’t see on the online sites; she may have to start her own blog.
“I’m not afraid to die; I’ve been dying a little bit every day ever since you came back into my pants.”
“What would Padme do if she were in your pants?”
“Be mindful of your pants, young Padawan; they betray you.”
By the way, this is now the top Google result if you search for “pants wars.” Thanks, Micah.