caught with one's pants down, be(redirected from with one's pants down)
be caught with (one's) pants down
To be taken by surprise; to be caught in a vulnerable (often embarrassing) position or situation. When the boss started firing questions at me, I was caught with my pants down and looked like a fool. I just hadn't considered all of those potential outcomes yet and didn't know what to say. We seriously underestimated our opponents on Saturday and were caught with our pants down.
caught with one's pants down, be
Be surprised in an embarrassing or guilty posture, as in We spent a lot of time preparing for the inspection; we didn't want to get caught with our pants down . This phrase presumably alludes to someone's pants being lowered to attend to bathroom needs but is not considered particularly vulgar. It is similar to off guard and, if wrongdoing is discovered, catch red-handed. [Colloquial; early 1900s]