WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS noun ( used with a plural verb) Also knick·er·bock·ers . [ nik-er-bok-erz] /ˈnɪk ərˌbɒk ərz/ loose-fitting short trousers gathered in at the knees. . Chiefly British a bloomerslike undergarment worn by women. panties. . British Informal a woman's or girl's short-legged underpants. Idioms to get one's knickers in a twist, . British Slang to get flustered or agitated: Don't get your knickers in a twist every time the telephone rings. Origin of knickers 1880–85;
shortened form of
special use of
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for get one's knickers in a twist pl n an undergarment for women covering the lower trunk and sometimes the thighs and having separate legs or leg-holes get one's knickers in a twist slang to become agitated, flustered, or upset Word Origin for knickers
C19: contraction of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for get one's knickers in a twist n.
"short, loose-fitting undergarment," now usually for women but not originally so, 1866, shortening of
knickerbockers (1859), said to be so called for their resemblance to the trousers of old-time Dutchmen in Cruikshank's illustrations for Washington Irving's "History of New York" (see knickerbocker).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper