all mouth and trousers

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Alternative forms[edit]


mouth, meaning "talk" rather than action and trousers, presumably at the time of origin a reference to masculinity, either as trousers as a male item of clothing, or a reference to the genitals, being for some reason required in order for effective action to be taken. In the context of the time of origin it was perhaps a somewhat sexist term. The phrase originated in Northern England.


all mouth and trousers (not comparable)

  1. (Britain, idiomatic) Superficial, engaging in empty, boastful talk, but not of real substance.


See also[edit]