wear the pants


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wear the pants

Exercise controlling authority in a household, as in Grandma wears the pants at our house. This idiom, generally applied to women and dating from the mid-1500s, a time when they wore only skirts, equates pants with an authoritative and properly masculine role. Originally put as wear the breeches, it remains in use despite current fashions.
See also: pant, wear

wear the pants

verb
See also: pant, wear
References in periodicals archive ?
I said to her, 'Of course they are too big for you, I wear the pants in this family and I always will.
Operatic mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux isn't afraid to wear the pants on stage.
While in Newfoundland, I only had to wear the pants once.
We're issuing a call to action to men across the country to Wear the Pants.
The parents have sued the district, maintaining they never wanted their son transferred and want him returned to Parkman, with the right to wear the pants.
Making a man wear the pants in the family is one thing.
3) ``Titanic'' star Gloria Stuart, left, chats with Tippi Hedren during the ``Women Wear the Pants in Hollywood'' gala at Hotel Nikko in Los Angeles.