Did people in the past wear super loose pants that could fit 2 people in there or something? Didn't people back then remove their pants before doing it? Did they have some sort of ritual where they would wear the other person's pants before doing it?

Where does the expression come from? It doesn't make much sense to me.

  • 1
    How about reading it as getting (to what's inside) their pants? The expression seems quite understandable then.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 8:16
  • 1
    If you change the way it's supposed to be read, yeah, but that's cheating. :P
    – user187596
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 8:18
  • 1
    Not necessarily. Using getting inside X to mean getting (to what's) inside X is not very strange. If a burglar tries to get inside your house, they don't do it for kicks, they want to get (to what's) inside your house. The implication that if you get into one's pants, you have access to what is inside those pants seems so obvious that I have trouble seeing the need to explain it...
    – oerkelens
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 8:55
  • 1
    I think that the issue is not much the verb used ..get into, be in, reach into etc..but the "pants" as a sexual metaphor. Get in/into is the verb more commonly used.
    – user66974
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 9:02
  • 4
    It's a euphemism; it's much more polite to say "get into her pants" than "get into her vagina"
    – user180089
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:36

3 Answers 3


"Get into someone's pants" suggests a physical intimacy typical of sexual activities:

Pants as a methapor for "dirty" activities has been used in earlier idiomatic expression such as:

get in(to) someone’s pants appears to be an extension of that methaphorical usage which became popular from the '60s (see Ngram)

  • in. to manage to copulate with a certain female; to seduce a female. (Usually objectionable.) Are you sure you don’t just want to get into my pants?

Ngram: get into my pants, get into her pants

The The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English shows an early usage by George Mandel in Flee the Angry Stranger (1952):

I have been in more guys' pants than you could count.


I feel like this is a troll, but here we go.

If you were to put your hand in someone's pants, meaning "underwear", you could say that you had "got into their pants" - you've got a part of you into their pants, at least. The putting of one's hand inside another's pants (while they are wearing them) is a common part of foreplay, a precursor to sex.


Hence we could say that we'd got into someone's pants. There's also a possible metaphor in which the pants represent a barrier to sexual intimacy, so you're saying that you've got past their innermost barrier to sexual intimacy, ie that, again, you've had sex with them.

  • 2
    I think the first explanation is kinda far-fetched. Putting your hand into someone's pants =/ sex.
    – user187596
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 8:17
  • @SupremeGrandRuler what does "=/" mean here? Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 8:22
  • @MaxWilliams is means 'is not equal to', it is an approximation of the 'not equal' sign. google.co.uk/…
    – Spagirl
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 10:26
  • 1
    I see, thanks. @SupremeGrandRuler "putting your hands in someone's pants" does not equal sex, that's true. But it's a common precursor to sex, which is what I actually said in my answer. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 10:31
  • 1
    But they did wear loose trousers back then... filmatica.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/chaplin2.jpg ;)
    – DyingIsFun
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 13:00

You can be "in" something without all of you being completely inside it.

(In the context of this question, that sounds a bit wrong, but to be clear I'm talking about the pants.)

"Go in that drawer and get me the scissors." This doesn't mean that the drawer is the size of a room. It means you're putting your hand in there. Your hand is in the drawer, so you can say that you are in the drawer. Same with the pants.

"He got into my safe and took my money." Again, this doesn't mean that the safe is the size of a room. Same with the pants.

It's a figure of speech and shouldn't be taken literally. Even if you do take it literally, "in" or "into" doesn't always literally mean that you're completely inside something.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.