Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Plural-singular issue[edit]

I think we should do something similar here to what Paul G suggested on the talk pages of pyjamas and pajamas. So as the English word is in the plural, translations that are in singular ought to be marked as well. Ferike333 11:16, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Frequency statistics[edit]

"Trousers" is about nine times more common in the UK than "pants", based on use in BNC.

Does this mean in any sense of "pants", or just in the sense of a garment covering the whole legs? It seems as if the latter ought to be meant, but did someone really go through all those examples and figure out in which sense the word was used? I think this would have to be done manually, since understanding of quite subtle contextual clues would be required. Mihia (talk) 01:38, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

I used BNC at BYU which has PoS tags. They are definitely not perfect, but not too bad. If there were some uses of the verb pants or the deverbal noun pants, then, a fortiori, trousers is more common than pants in the trousers sense alone.
Though I don't remember the specifics of my estimate, it is fairly easy to exhaustively search a not-too-big corpus like BNC for a not-too-common term like pants, given the KWIC format that BYU provides. DCDuring TALK 03:33, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
BTW, you would not have gotten a response if I had shortened my too-long watchlist. You could have tried the Tea Room or looked at the history to find out who perpetrated the note that you question. I certainly wouldn't have objected to see the question on my talk page. DCDuring TALK 03:36, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
@DCDuring Sorry, I may not have explained my point quite clearly. When I said "any sense of 'pants'", I meant any sense of the word "pants" to refer to a garment. From the context, the stats purport to show a comparison between "pants" used to mean a garment covering the legs, and "trousers" used to mean a garment covering the legs (though making this more explicit would not hurt). Because it seems unlikely that a computer could distinguish between "pants" meaning underpants and "pants" meaning the longer garment (as I say, it requires subtle understanding of context), I wondered whether anyone had actually been through them manually, or if raw figures were used that did not actually measure what is purported to be measured. Mihia (talk) 04:07, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
I have been tending not to read others' comments very carefully. Sorry.
In my idiolect pants is almost synonymous with slacks and trousers. But pants allows for more compounding (underpants, short pants) than the others. To allow pants to be a hyponym of shorts seems OK, but not trousers and slacks. DCDuring TALK 17:05, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't know whether this relatively fine detail is worth including as a usage note when we have so many gross quality problems in definitions. DCDuring TALK 17:08, 12 November 2016 (UTC)