Ask McFartnuggets: “Why Do They Call Them Underpants?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Why is it they call underwears “underpants” when it’s clearly just one piece of cloth. I can understand when people use the word “pants” to describe a single pair of pants because it’s a pair of pant legs so when they’re attached you call those “pants.” Underpants ain’t like that though so why the hell do people pluralize that shit? If someone asks you to bring a pair of underpants do they mean one or two? Is this not an appalling exercise in logical fallacy? -- DeQuan from Detroit, Michigan

Dear DeQuan:
That’s a good point you raise, DeQuan. If I were to play devil’s advocate and try to defend the term “underpants” it would be that people are assumed to have multiple pairs. You should never a single underpant so perhaps people view “underpants” as a collective entity of all your crotchal undergarments. Of course I am merely proposing this as a possible explanation. I agree with you that it doesn’t make much sense. People prefer to generalize all underwear as “pants” as opposed to having two separate broad terms (“underpants” and “underpant”) to take into account boxers/boxer briefs and tighty whities/panties respectively. If someone asked me to bring a pair of underpants I’d assume they meant one, but I would bring two just in case. That is confusing, you’re right.

Just one pair of underpants on barbed wire would give you the indication something horrible has happened, but a bunch and you know it's just a hillbilly family doing their laundry.

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