waist » waste

Chiefly in:   pantywaste , wasteband

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • I find it a little disturbing that someone who wears a crucifix around their neck, also carries a gun in their wasteband. (link)
  • He was also wearing a pair of her work out pants. The blue sweats had been the only ones with a drawstring and thus small enough for her to tie tightly around his small waste. (link)
  • A thin diaphanous gown clung to the gentle curves of her body, fastened at her slim waste with a silver belt that bore the image of a face, it’s cheeks puffed out, and blowing. (link)
  • Materials Required: Old blue jean pockets (back and wasteband attached); colored felt; slick paint; glue; Easter grass (link)
  • So you have two choices about this situation. You can either continue to bellyache and complain like a whiny pantywaste, blaming Mark Messier for everything from Pavel Bure’s gimpy knee to the tragic offseason death of Roman Lyashenko to the breakup of Ben Affleck and J. Lo (which is actually the one thing that I wish I could blame on him). (Hockeybird.com, September 15, 2003)

Analyzed or reported by:

Wasting away, in one’s stomach region, has become the epitome of physical beauty.

Update, 2006/03/12: On 2006/03/11, Wilson Gray reported _pantie waste_ to the American Dialect Society mailing list:

> A while ago, a friend of mine spoke somewhat as follows:
> “I don’t what made that jerk think that I would possibly want to sleep with him. That would have been a total [pAntiweist]!”
> I asked her how that last word was spelled. She replied:
> “P-A-N-T-I-E W-A-S-T-E.”
> I asked her what that meant. She replied that it meant that said jerk wasn’t worth the effort involved in taking off one’s undies.
> After a bit more conversation, it became clear that what she had in mind was “pantywaist,” misconstrued and respelled to fit that misconstruction.
> For those too young to have worn a pantywaist, it was clothing for (male) toddlers. It consisted of a pair of short pants - the panties - worn over one’s diaper and buttoned along its top edge to the bottom edge of a Peter Pan-collared shirt - the waist - that itself buttoned up the front.
>From its use as clothing for babies comes its former(?) pejorative use as
an insult for an adult male.

This eggcorn is found in the spellings _pantywaste_, _panty waste_, _pantiewaste_ or _pantie waste_, with the first appearing to be the most common. Others, too, have opted for the altered spelling on similar grounds:

* You deserve some kind of formal recognition for using the word “pantywaist” in your blog. I have always wondered about the etymology of that word - and I actually thought that it was spelled “pantyWASTE”, so it took on kind of a mysterious and SIMULTANEOULY (haha) disgusting image in my mind…. (link)
* you mean pantywaste? is it supposed to be pantywaist?
i always thought it was like you’re a waste and also i called you women’s underwear (link)

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/02/15 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Arnold Zwicky , 2005/10/06 at 10:56 pm

    The opposite misspelling, in “waistoid” for “wastoid” ‘loser, dweeb’, was noticed by Ben Zimmer on ADS-L, 5 October 2005, in a cite from the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” supplied by Bill Mullins. Some Googled examples:

    Waistoid Mecca: Welcome Home Fellow Loser. Congratulations, you actually have nothing better to do in your free time than surf on into here.(link)

    Well, this kid gives me a case of the shits. When did acting like a dumbass waistoid become “cute?” It ain’t cute. It’s annoying. (link)

    “Waistoid” lacks any semantic motivation that I can see. It’s a simple misspelling, or perhaps a spelling jiggled so as to make it clear that the vowel is the /ej/ of “waist”, not some other vowel that the spelling “wastoid” might have suggested.

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