unmentionables love

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. undergarments, underwear, drawers
  • n. breeches, trousers

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. The breeches; trousers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Trousers or breeches, as an article of dress not to be mentioned in polite circles; inexpressibles.

Etymologies

Victorian Era euphemism, specifically the category of euphemism known as indirection (compare privates, behind, sleep together). First intended meaning was "trousers", attested from 1823. Meaning "underwear" is recorded from 1910. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thus euphemisms are used for undergarments, notably those in touch with the intimate parts, or even, as in the case of the word unmentionables, the trousers worn above these.

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  • Don Sharp Springfield, Missouri Speaking of the Unmentionables In the nineteenth century, the Age of Euphemism, the word unmentionables designated only one specific referent -- men's trousers.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XVIII No 2

  • We found it with contraceptive devices, trusses and other 'unmentionables' and even though everyone understood what a 'jockstrap' was, even its polite name of 'male support' couldn't be seen here.

    Product Support

  • Figuring if they wanted to look in a bag I would pull the duffle out and open it revealing a totally unreasonable amount of footwear, the next thing had "unmentionables" in full view ... they didn't want to look at anything and told me to have a good summer. jerezano

    Page 2

  • In the pilot episode the young and attractive Bridget Hanley is hanging her laundry on the deck of her sailing ship and Bobby Sherman asks her why she is showing the crew her "unmentionables," to which she replies: "They know I wear it, why shouldn't they know I wash it?"

    Norman Horowitz: Here Come the Brides

  • This is not about "unmentionables" but rather a different visual unmentionable: the pictures of our current wars dead, wounded, and dying.

    Norman Horowitz: Here Come the Brides

  • Strolling down the "unmentionables" isle my mom spotted a mannequin whose lovely if not somewhat daring nightie had slipped off her shoulder exposing her fake breast.

    Beaches

  • The "co-author" who is reportedly hard at work on Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter actually managed to capture Austen's authorial voice quite well most of the time, to the point that many of the references to the "unmentionables" actually flowed quite naturally.

    Sacrilege! A Book Profaned!

  • Let me briefly respond: First, neither I, nor Mr. Katznelson, nor anyone else associated with us has had anything to do with smuggling 'unmentionables' in to these men, nor would we ever do so.

    Shayana Kadidal: Underwear Gnomes Infest Guantanamo

  • His dresser drawers are mostly full of military issued socks, hankies, brown T-shirts, green T-shirts, the new under armor type things, PT uniforms, and "unmentionables".

    Further Adventures of a Geardo - SpouseBUZZ

Comments

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  • "His little man-o'-war top and unmentionables were full of sand ..."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 13

    January 14, 2007