Too big for your britches

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Man's tailcoat, outer vest, inner vest, breeches. Circa 1790-1795, France.

The phrase too big for your britches in an indictment that you are presuming rights and privileges you have yet to earn, especially those that come with age.


Britches is a spelling variant, of breeches dating from the 17th century. They are an item of clothing covering the body from the waist down, with separate coverings for each leg, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles. The britches were normally closed and fastened about the leg, along its open seams at varied lengths, and to the knee, by either buttons or by a draw-string, or by one or more straps and buckles or brooches. Formerly the breeching of a young boy, at an age somewhere between six and eight, was a landmark in his childhood.

Presently, "britches" reflects a common pronunciation often used in casual speech to mean trousers or pants in many English speaking parts of the world. As such the phrase is an allusion you are acting bigger hence older than you actually are.

And spanking[edit]

The phrase is popular with spanking art due to easy follow on of a remedy to this misbehavior fits the allusion in the removal of said britches so that the spankee's attitude can be resized via a spanking.

See also[edit]

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Breeches. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.