wear the pants


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

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 ?
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.
These proud but childish men march through a field with purpose while singing "I Wear No Pants" and are interrupted with a notice to mankind: "Calling all Men - it's time to Wear the Pants.