Big Boy Pants

What the fuck is up with the “big boy pants?” It’s such an annoying expression that after hearing it three times, I need it to go away.

Did everyone hear Debbie Wasserman Schultz tell Romney and his staff to put on their big boy pants and big girl pants? I love Debbie, but I can’t endorse her word usage. What’s wrong with “man up,” even though I hate that one too.

Man up! It’s like everyone had to reach for a stupider way to accuse someone of being weak or unmanly. Big boy pants was also used by ex-CIA head Jose Rodriguez to defend the use of torture during interrogations:

Jose Rodriguez: We needed to get everybody in government to put their big boy pants on and provide the authorities that we needed.

Lesley Stahl: Their big boy pants on–

Jose Rodriguez: Big boy pants. Let me tell you, I had had a lot of experience in the agency where we had been left to hold the bag. And I was not about to let that happen for the people that work for me.

What a fucking cunt!™  He needs to be water-boarded, then we’ll talk about big boy pants.

Earlier this year, some idiot elected to leave a comment here, regarding something I had written about grief, and advised me to put on my “big girl pants.” I was so offended that I deleted the comment. I never censor my comments but I had to make an exception. My pants are big enough and I’ll wear whatever pants I want, Mongoloid, Esq.!

How do you feel about big boy pants? Are you ready to nominate it for worst jargon of the year?

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22 Responses to “Big Boy Pants”

  1. Romeo Says:

    This phrase is another in a whole doodyload of phrases that are dragging down discourse towards elementary school levels. When we talk like dumb dumb playground crybabies nuance is lost in order to assure ourselves that our intention is clear to our audience: our opponents are stupid poopfaces and we hate them, and if you don’t hate them too you’ll get cooties.

    The Washington Post had a story regarding this that’s much more eloquent than what I’ve provided, but they’re a buncha sissies who still wear diapers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/post/congressional-discourse-getting-dumber-study-says/2012/05/21/gIQA5tWFgU_blog.html

  2. Ruth Says:

    Completely irrelevant to your post, sorry. But have you read the Aussie blog Edenland? Don’t know why, but I thought you might enjoy her unique take on life and it’s struggles. She’s been around for quite a few years now so maybe you have come across her.

  3. annemarie Says:

    I never heard of that expression ’til now, but it’s pretty vile. I don’t like the word “pants” to begin with. Where I come from, we say “trousers,” which is much more decorous. Pants sounds very infantile to my ears.

    I really hate the expression “live-tweeting” and the way that certain bloggers bandy it about as though they’re reporting from the frontlines of a major event and relaying Extremely Important Information when they’re actually only talking about the state of the buffet food and the back of celebrities’ heads. But even worse than that is when they announce on their blog that they will be “live-tweeting” their thoughts about, for example, the red carpet arrivals at the Oscars…as they watch it at home on TV. Aside from the criminally delusional self-importance, the suggestion that tweeting would be anything other than “live” in the first place is just plain moronic. And for that Live Tweeters must die.

  4. carla fox Says:

    Romeo, I think I love you.

  5. DCD Says:

    Laughing aloud at Romeo. I know “big boy pants,” and yes, I’m ready.

  6. kate Says:

    this phrase has a strange effect on me. every time i hear it, i see someone taking off their little boy pants, which are little shorts, and putting on their big boy pants, which are clown-like in proportion.

  7. PD Says:

    I am tired of people using the phrase “that said”.

  8. S. Says:

    It’s right up there with “cray cray” or “that shit is cray”,
    for the worst jargon of 2012.

  9. Ann Says:

    That Jose assclown said my TWO least favorite sayings: “big boy pants” and “hold the bag.” What a fucking cunt!â„¢ After the waterboarding, if he survives, let’s also have him drawn and quartered.

  10. kate Says:

    why can’t the “talkers” challenge each other with more intelligence, instead of less? Like using better grammar and not using a phrase only used when getting a toddler ready to wear more structured clothing. Even then it’s lame.
    Other than that, what Romeo said.

  11. Deni Says:

    Ginormous. Everywhere I go I hear/read ginormous. I don’t understand that word. It’s not pretty to look at. It’s harsh like “big boy/girl pants.” Sister, you should write the undictionary; words/phrases that should never be used, and feel free to include bands that should never be listened too, blogs never to be read, and shoes never to be owned. But then that would be like saying don’t think of a pink elephant riding a bike and it would defeat the purpose. Oye! (I’m going to go put on my ginormous girly pants and stick my head in the sand.)

  12. E Says:

    Have you missed how often “big girl pants” becomes “big girl PANTIES”?! Blerggh!

  13. Debbie Says:

    Whatever you hate … I hate! That’s luv sister! LOL!!!

    XOXO
    Deb

  14. Debbie Says:

    … and I wouldn’t have “deleted” Mongoloid, Esq. I WOULD HAVE FOUND HIM. AND I WOULD HAVE KILLED HIM. :)

  15. Jessie K Says:

    Thank you for crystallizing this heretofore unexamined annoyance.

  16. Jaimi Says:

    Ugh, how I LOATHE cutesy, childish phrasing. So gross. Same goes for the “zombie nouns” that get hurled around by internet social justice warriors.
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/zombie-nouns/

  17. Sister Wolf Says:

    Jaimi – Ooh, great link, thank you!

  18. Rosie Says:

    Haven’t heard that said here – yet! Please keep that shit on your side of the equator. Gives me bad images.

  19. Cricket9 Says:

    Excellent article, thanks Jaimi!
    I do hate Mott’s ad “you can taste THE DIFFERENT”, and another one for Ontario’s produce: “You can pack THE GOOD”.

  20. candy Says:

    I don’tlike that expression either, sounds weird to the ears.

  21. Cristine Says:

    The big girl/big boy pants makes me think of giant panties which make me cringe. Note-I never had a problem with panties until your blog about them Sister Wolf.
    I just recently came across “vacay” & “staycation”. Are people THAT fucking lazy that they can’t finish a word? How hard is it to add “shun” to “vacay”? & “staycation”? Unh unh. There is NO such thing. You either go on a vacation or you stay home-not a hard one to grasp.

  22. Monica Says:

    I have two: ‘Cowgirl/boy up’. To my great dismay, I am currently planted in Northern Colorado. People have these stickers on their bungalow sized vehicles. I mean, could you possibly drive a larger vehicle? That’s a ‘whole nother’ (I had to use the second in a working sentence) story.

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