Caught with his pants down

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Caught with his pants down : Phrases


Finding oneself in an awkward, unexpected and uncompromising situation.


Never one to be caught with his pants down, he made an impeccable recovery and gave a respectful welcome on our behalf, making the best of an awkward situation using his characteristic dry humour and wit.


This expression can be traced to the England in the 1920s, where it was caught with one's trousers down. The phrase is likelier much older and kept out of print for prudish reasons until the 1920s.

(1) It refers to a man caught with a lady in media res by her husband.

(2) The situation arose when a hostile Indian came upon a frontiersman answering the call of nature in the woods without his rifle at his side.

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