British English: casual house clothes?

I am continually struggling for names for a good name for clothes people change into when they go home. It sounds silly but …

When lots of people, that I know, go home from work they change into a tshirt and a pair of track suit bottoms with a draw string. But what do we call them ? When I wrote track suit bottoms I find it sounds strange. Pyjamas sounds way to bed orientated. In America they say ‘sweats’ I believe and I absolutely hate that word … yuk.

Any ideas ?

The Noel Coward answer is loungewear. I am laughed at by Northern brethren for wearing my lounge pants as they are convinced that these are pajamas. They’re not. They’re lounge pants. For lounging.

Otherwise - trackie bots. Hmm. Now you’ve got me thinking, and I don’t want to be thinking about such trivia. Drawstring trousers.

Fep it. Put him in shorts and be done with it…

In the Pigfender household we refer to them as apartment pants, (after an exchange between Ross and Rachel in FRIENDS, so kinda defeating your British English requirement).

On a recent blog post, I referred to them as Browear.

Generally, though, the British linguistic norm is to say that you are changing out of work clothes, rather than specifying what you are changing into, perhaps because the idea of ‘slipping into something more comfortable’ creates a whole different expectation these days.

First, it must really be warming up over there.
I can’t imagine this problem from 20 years ago.
Then visiting Amurricans complained about
No Central Heating and wore heavy clothing indoors.
Just a few terms used on this side of the Pond.

Sweats = lightweight cotton or polyester pants/shirts, baggy
Boxers = cotton undershorts, lightweight, loose
Briefs = ditto, but cut like Speedo swimsuits, tight
Tees = simple T-shaped shirt, widely popular
Shorts = of varying length above & below the knee
PJs = pajamas, a/k/a jammies or jams (Loungeware? Ick. :unamused: )
Commando = going without, nudo, nudeski, bareass

Can you tell that it’s August and the adults are en vacance? :mrgreen:

US based and an ignorant redneck … just setting the tone for my replies…

The norm that I’ve herd from multiple nationalities is “getting comfortable”. As in “now that I’m home I’ll get comfortable then mow the yard”. The problem with this is that when the Mrs says it I get all hopeful only to see the saggy bottom PJs emerge from the chamber of non-sleeping sleeping.

In the new local saying (deep south coastal region) I hear is “gonna git necked and hang out once I’s home t’night”. Not what you want to hear a 300lb woman with a five-o’clock shadow say outside the restaurant you are walking into on 98°F day with 90% humidity. This is by far the most disturbing thing I’ve experienced in some time. I do not recommend using this UNLESS you are putting these words in the mouth of someone more … pleasant … to imagine in said circumstance.

In the woods of the North East US (climatically closer to Scotland) the statement was, thankfully, a bit less picturesque … “I’m home, let me change into my comfort clothes then i will make you a special dinner.” Now, the truly lucky ones among us, witnessed comfort clothes that were the form fitting “lower layers” of the stack of protective insulation required to maintain a core body temp above the hypothermia upper limit. This explains the large families often seen in the rural northeast. Just sayin’…

Finally I offer an example from my favorite Brit and his wife. Experienced on the trip of a life time prior to a sit down snack in the kitchen:
W: Get comfy. Nearly ready.
B: I am.
W: That ratty old thing.
B: …
W: Get uncomfy.
B: (trudges off to change)

Hopefully there is some useful information in there. At least useful in the “never ever use this when writing” category.



The Aussie term for tracksuit pants — note that “pants” doesn’t mean the same in Australia as Britain, and we wouldn’t say “tracksuit bottoms” because it just sounds wrong — is “trakky daks”.
trakky = tracksuit
daks = trousers

I read this twice, and was wondering why anyone would talk about getting necked. I mean, I know that down your way folks are… different, but this just seemed like bragging. Then I realised my mistake. I was reading “necked” incorrectly. It was not the single syllable “neckt”, as in the past tense of “to neck”, but the bi-syllabic “neck-ed”, or naked. Everything then made sense.

Unfortunately… :open_mouth:

I’m THAT desperate not to write that I’ve looked up my lounge pants online to discover that :open_mouth: I’d invented the term. The retailer identifies them as cotton poplin ‘pull ons’ WITHIN a Loungewear section.

Again, Brits being what they are, these should never, ever, be referred to as ‘pull offs’. And a pullover, while sounding rude, is the opposite of a ‘pull on’. Although presumably a pull on is never actually singular. Unless you’re in a niche market.

Marks and Sparks (sniff) refer to them as ‘long pants’.

Jeebus. I must have something better to do. Anything. Help me.

As any fule no, it’s nekkid, not necked.

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I only offer “deficient coffee consumption” in my defense.

Locally it is pronounced more like “ne’kit”. Although nek’kid would work. All I know is that typing the scene (that really happened) resulted in a few minuets of “fetal rocking” in my chair.

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Come visit! I can point her out to you. The trauma should be shared with others.

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Nom, that is just about the coolest thing I have learned all week! Many thanks.
We have an Australian woman in our latest novel draft.
Now must have her wearing trakky daks while flipping shrimp on the barbie.

Glad to have helped, although thinking of trakky daks as “cool” is doing my head in. :slight_smile:
If you want authenticity for your Australian character, then avoid the shrimp (unless she’s from certain parts of Sydney, then maybe). Apart from the usual BBQ fare (burgers, chops, mushrooms, sliced onion, asparagus, fish) every genuine Aussie barbie will have snags. “Chuck us a coupla snags on the barbie will ya Dazza!” is the type of thing you might hear.

snags = sausages
Dazza = Darren
“Chuck us a coupla snags on the barbie will ya Dazza!” literally means “Throw two sausages for me onto the BBQ Darren” but semantically it means something closer to “Please include some sausages for me in the selection of grilled delights you are preparing Darren” (well, more or less). :smiley:

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Trouble is, being British, I must ask what class are your characters … working, lower-middle, middle-middle, upper-middle or anything in between, or upper-class and their age? What they would say would very much depend on that.

I — nearly 69, totally mixed up as to class, but linguistically nearer to upper-middle with middle-middle overtones — would simply say, “I’m going to change” if I said anything.

Actually, come to think of it, that would only happen on returning home after a very formal occasion like a wedding, and even then I don’t think I’d say anything. I think whoever said that we’d say, “I’m going to get out of these togs” or whatever if we said anything, has it right for us Brits … well, middle-middle-class and up and grandparent generation.

And Jaysen, if you were a Brit and went out to “mow the yard”, you’d be buying a new mower or at least a set of blades each time … a yard being paved in my experience. You’d do better to “mow the lawn”. :laughing:

Mr X

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Wheeeee … who knew this was such a fascinating question !!! :mrgreen:

Wow thanks all you guys for all of the suggestions and laughs.

Thanks for the American glossary druid. And the Aussie tip.

Like me, my character is Irish and middle class. He is about 25, single, living in London and working for the security services.

I have a feeling I’m going to concede defeat to this challenge and either just say ‘changed into comfortable clothes’ or house clothes, or as pigfender so delicately put it ‘changed out of his work clothes’.

I was allowing my own personal slovenly self to leech into my character I guess. The biggest pleasure I have when I arrive home from work or anywhere else is to strip off and get into a tshirt and tracksuit pants. It is a virtually orgasmic physical release :smiling_imp:


Over here, the queen would have a “lawn”, I would have a “yard”, and we pave “lots” (Eg parking lot). The difference between “lawn” and “yard” is upkeep. Lawns are nice and green, weed free, well maintained. Yards are what people with jobs have. if it’s green its because the weeds haven’t died, when the town issues a citation it might get mowed. Folks aspire to a lawn. most of us have yards. Unless we have a field.

I’m working on a “natural dune”. Haven’t mowed since we moved in. Wild grasses are starting to grow. Now that I think about it, I better mow soon before the ecologists mark my “plot of land” off limits as protected under native habitat/wetland laws.

Darn you Mr X!

My student children call them “pj bots” or just “pjs”. When they were younger, they used to don pyjamas as a sort of protest at the prospect that they might be made to go out again and do something interesting. And my daughter developed an alarming tendency to appear round the house in a “onesie” last winter. But I think a onesie might be a step too far for any fictional character. Onesies are beyond credibility.

Wow, Siren. Get out much? … est_craze/

And you don’t think that stretches the bounds of credibility, Ahab? Gosh. How broad-minded of you :wink: