Underwear | English Vocabulary
November 15, 2019
I don’t think that goes there, Frank. Hi guys! Welcome back to English with Max. Today I am doing a video on something that’s not normally taught in English classes. However, if you go to an English-speaking country and you need to buy clothes, this vocabulary can be quite important. I am going to teach you different words for… underwear. As usual you’ll find a full list of the vocabulary in the infobox below. Now this video is not just for the ladies. I very recently discovered that there are actually quite a lot of different types of male underwear as well. I’m going to teach you some general words, but I’m also going to teach you some more specific words. Okay, first let’s look at the general words. We’ll start with the word “underwear”. What is underwear exactly? Underwear is anything that you wear under your normal clothes. So something that’s close to your skin and is underneath your outer clothes. It’s the clothes that you’re not supposed to see. Underwear can include bras, underpants or long underwear if you live in a cold country. Don’t worry, I’ll show you some examples later. So yes, “underwear” is very general. Sometimes when people say “underwear”, they actually are talking about underpants. I know it’s a bit confusing, but it’s normally clear from the context. What are underpants? Underpants are these things, or these things, or these things. Underpants are anything that have two holes for the legs that you wear on the lower part of your body. Remember that anything in English that has two holes for the legs like jeans, or shorts, or underpants is plural. Something a bit interesting is that in the UK, when people say “pants”, normally
they’re referring to underpants, but in Australia and the US, when we say pants, we’re normally talking about trousers or jeans. So yeah, think about where you are if you are talking about these things. So underpants and underwear are the two general words that apply to both male and female clothes. Let’s now look at women’s underwear. I’m sure most of you know this one. This is a bra. “Bra” is in fact short for the word “brassiere”, but we basically never use that word anymore. Some younger native speakers probably don’t even know what that means. It’s quite funny, when I was a teenager, my mother once said to my sister and me: “Girls, nice underwear isn’t necessarily expected, but it is often appreciated.” Yeah, she was right. As mothers often are. Now as I’m sure you know, there are lots of different types of bras. You can find nice pretty lacy ones like this, but you can also buy quite plain ones like this. When they’re smooth here we normally call them “T-shirt bras” because they’re easy to wear under a T-shirt. You also have “strapless bras”. Of course they’re called “strapless bras” because they don’t have any straps. These are straps. Strapless bras are quite handy if you have a strapless top or a strapless dress. For example, something like this. This is called a “boob tube”. Yeah, I know it sounds a little bit vulgar, but it’s actually the normal, standard word for a top like this. And now we move on to women’s underpants. This is a little more complicated because the most commonly used word will depend on the country you are in. “Underwear” and “underpants” are, of course, universal, but in the US a common word for women’s underpants is “panties”. And in the UK a common word is “knickers”. And if you’re interested in what we say in Australia, a standard word is “briefs”, but we do sometimes say “knickers” or “underpants”. Of course, you have different cuts, so different shapes, in women’s underpants. But basically you have two types: You have these comfortable, cotton, practical ones. Or you have these pretty, lacy ones. I don’t know about you if you are a girl watching, but normally I only wear ones like this if I think somebody might see them, or if I don’t have any of these left in the drawer. Some girls, and guys, like to wear
this type of underwear. This is a G-string. “G-string” is a little bit different to the other words that I mentioned because it is singular. So you do not say: “These are G-strings.” You have to say: “This is a G-string.” “Thong” is also a common word for this. Some people say that there is a difference between “thong” and “G-string”, but honestly, most people use them interchangeably. Australians have to be a bit careful though, because in Australia these types of shoes are also called thongs. When I was overseas I once said to a group of people: “Have you seen my thongs?” You can imagine the looks that I got. I don’t fully understand, to be honest, how people can find these comfortable, but I guess it’s alright if it’s for a special occasion and you’re pretty sure you’re not going to be wearing them for very long. Frank, uh, no. And now men’s underwear! When I did my “research” for this video I was actually quite surprised as to how many different types of men’s underwear actually exist. By the way, the reason why the tags are still on these is because I bought these at Kmart specifically for this video and I plan to return them afterwards. Yeah, a little bit cheeky of me. The first ones, and I’m sure you know these, are boxer shorts. These are also referred to as “boxers”. I’m not a man so I can’t tell you whether I think these are more comfortable than others. I suppose it’s personal preference. These ones are traditional briefs. If there is a short leg on them, they are no longer called “briefs”. They are called “trunks”. Now if the leg is even longer (down to here), but they are still, you know, tight and stretchy, then they are called “boxer briefs”. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy some boxer briefs, but if you go and Google it you will find some pictures. Some briefs and trunks have a sort of opening here. I probably don’t need to explain what that’s for. But, in any case, these are called “Y-fronts”. Nowadays sometimes they’re called “fly fronts”. When it’s a bit cold, some men like to wear these things. These are called “long johns”. Let’s have a look. This is what they look like. When I lived in Europe I had something similar to this, but they weren’t white and, like, this part right here was a little smaller. For obvious reasons. That’s it for today guys. I hope you’ve found this video educational. If you did, please share it with your friends and give me a thumbs up. If not, that’s cool. Don’t forget to subscribe to be updated on more videos and you can also leave a comment in the comments section if you wish. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’ll put the links in the info box. See ya next time!