kick in the pants

Also found in: Acronyms.

a kick in the pants

1. A forceful gesture or message of some kind (usually delivered with good intentions) that acts as motivation to the (previously unmotivated) recipient. These days, teenagers seem to need a swift kick in the pants to convince them to do well in school. That speeding ticket was the kick in the pants that Dan needed to get his driving under control.
2. A frustrating or unwelcome occurrence. Having to move back in with my parents at age 40 is a real kick in the pants.
3. A source of pleasure or enjoyment. Our night out was a real a kick in the pants—we had a great time.
See also: kick, pant

kick in the (seat of the) pants

 and kick in the ass; a kick in the butt; a kick in the teeth
Fig. Inf. a strong message of encouragement or demand. (Use ass and butt with discretion.) All he needs is a kick in the seat of the pants to get him going. A kick in the butt will get her moving.
See also: kick, pant

kick in the pants

See also: kick, pant
References in periodicals archive ?
These cartoons challenge progressive and liberal readers, which makes the book more than just a kick in the pants to the anti-abortion side.
Skate paintings are still a kick in the pants, though.
It's hard to imagine that a slap on the wrist is going to make much of a difference when the company deserved a kick in the pants a long time ago.
I really didn't know how much of a kick in the pants I had given the country back in 1942 until I got home,'' said Merson, who retired in 1984 from his job as a chemist.
Since that's not sporting, she just gives him a kick in the pants when she thinks he needs it and bolsters his spirits the rest of the time.