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    #1

    pair and pairing

    We say a pair of jeans, a pair of pants, a pair of scissors, etc.
    Why don't we say a pair of bras even though the bra also consists of two equal and symmetrical parts?

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: pair and pairing

    Quote Originally Posted by balakrishnanijk View Post
    We say a pair of jeans, a pair of pants, a pair of scissors, etc.
    Why don't we say a pair of bras even though the bra also consists of two equal and symmetrical parts?
    That's very interesting! Suppose you want to buy a pair of bras. How many would the the shopgirl give to you: one or two?


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    #3

    Re: pair and pairing

    That is indeed interesting. We do, however, say "a pair of tits," "gazongas," or similar. "Pair" is not necessary, but it's sometimes added.

    We don't say "a pair of shirts" but we say a man is "in his shirtsleeves." (Or once did; I doubt anybody knows what that means these days.)

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    #4

    Re: pair and pairing

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    ...
    We don't say "a pair of shirts" but we say a man is "in his shirtsleeves." (Or once did; I doubt anybody knows what that means these days.)

    Maybe not in your neck of the woods. (It's commonly used in the UK.)

    b


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    #5

    Re: pair and pairing

    I seem to remember reading an asterisked explanation of the phrase in some book we had to read in high school. Of course, at that age many phrases require an asterisk.

    But honestly, I don't think I've ever heard anybody say it over here. Can I get a witness?

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: pair and pairing

    Over her we do use 'in shirtsleeves'. A phrase that is definitely on the wane is 'shirtsleeve order' - used chiefly by people with a military background (and by people who went to fee-paying schools that had a "Corps" - boys playing at being soldiers, but with real - if old - equipment).

    When it was hot a soldier could not remove his uniform jacket unless his superior had announced 'shirtsleeve order'. The Test Match Special (BBC, cricket) commentators have the appropriate background, and they frequently say things like 'It was shirtsleeve order at Lords today'.

    b


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    #7

    Re: pair and pairing

    So, that means it was really hot?

    I love to listen to the American football commentators, esp. the "color guys," try to find something clever and informative to say. Best Ever: "The quarterback's down in the end zone nursing a hurt calf."

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    #8

    Re: pair and pairing

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    So, that means it was really hot? ...
    And I should probably have explained 'Lord's' - so-called 'home of cricket' - not as big as 'The Oval' (London's other cricket ground), but more central, in a more fashionable neighbourhood, and generally more venerable (among cricket-lovers).

    b

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