Tuesday, 13 June 2006

"Charlie, Get Your Pants!" - Zydeblue, 1999

Today, I was planning to write about the first named storm in the 2006 US hurricane season -- Tropical Storm Alberto -- but something else a little lighter has come up. At the least, though, I'll refer Lord Celery's readers to one of my most-used websites, that of the US National Hurricane Center. Good luck, Florida. I really hope Alberto doesn't do too much damage.

OK. What I found to write about today is some graffiti I found painted on a wall in Oxford, as I walked to work this morning. It has me a little baffled...

(As usual, you can click on the image for a larger version.)

I've certainly heard of Oxford shirts (or Oxford-cloth shirts) but not of Oxford pants.

Perhaps there are people in Oxford walking around without any pants, and the message is asking them to please put them back on? (And in case my American readers don't know this, "pants" in the UK refers to a person's underwear, not their trousers.) If that's the case, I haven't seen any of these pantless people...luckily!

There's another possibility. In the UK, the word "pants" can also be used as a noun or an adverb to describe something or someone that's rubbish, nonsense, bad, etc. (You can also use the slang expression "pile of pants", as the BBC describes in this article on their website.) So does a disgruntled student feel that his/her time in Oxford is rubbish or dreadful, perhaps?

There has been an Oxfam campaign called "Pants to Poverty"...part of the Make Poverty History coalition. Maybe the graffiti message refers to that? Somehow, I don't think so.

Any other ideas, anybody?

I'll keep everybody posted if I figure this one out!



At 13 June, 2006 15:01 , Blogger gnightgirl said...

See, I learn from your blog too; I didn't know the pants/trousers thing.

I saw a dozen pantless people in Chicago Saturday night. It was Naked Bike Ride night; what a surprise.

At 13 June, 2006 15:30 , Blogger Janet said...


I don't know about you, but no matter WHAT the weather, I wouldn't care to ride a bike "nekked"! YIKES...!

Glad to have enhanced YOUR education, too! ;)


At 14 June, 2006 10:58 , Anonymous Nicolette said...

Maybe they weren't really firm in English grammar and what they actually meant was "Oxford is panting now", as in trying to catch their breath? ;-))

At 14 June, 2006 14:21 , Blogger Janet said...


My husband had a similar thought. As it's been very hot in Oxford over the last week, he thought it meant "panting" in the same way you did...but because of being overheated!


At 14 June, 2006 14:26 , Blogger Heather said...

What's funny is the bullets before each word - like it's a shopping list or a to-do list.

About the naked biking thing - my husband found out it was naked biking day and tried to convince me to photograph him naked on his bike in the garage and put the photo on my blog. He's a little strange that way.


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