She's a bit of an old trouser [old trout]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by susanna76, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. susanna76 Senior Member

    Hi, I'm watching a parody of the film Brief Encounter. The man who plays Dr. Alec Harvey says that his wife is "a bit of an old trouser." What does he mean by that? The woman who plays Laura Jesson comments that he doesn't sound like he cares for his wife very much. Alec then follows his statement by saying that "she can be rather vicious and she takes drugs."

    Thank you!
  2. susanna76 Senior Member

    But why "old" trouser? Is it just an intensifier?
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    An equal stab in the dark, but, given that it from 'Brief Encounter' I suspect that the man is saying that his wife likes to be in charge - to dominate the household:

    to wear the trousers : to be the dominant member of a household.

    "Oh yes! He may be a lion-tamer, afraid of nothing, but at home it is his wife who wears the trousers."
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Susanna, is it the Victoria Wood parody? If so, I've just watched it, and what the man actually says is "My wife's a bit of an old trout, I'm afraid".
  5. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Sounds rather fishy to me....

    (Now I wonder what that might imply :confused:)
  6. susanna76 Senior Member

    Loob: Yes, the Victoria Wood parody.
    Thank you all :)
  7. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    To be honest, I'm not sure how I'd distinguish between the various terms for "disagreeable old woman", sdg. For me, "old trout" conjures up images of pursed lips (ie someone sour-faced), but that might be just me....

    That said, unlike (say) "old bat", I can't imagine anyone using "old trout" today, unless they wanted to sound deliberately old-fashioned - which was, of course, the case in this skit:).
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Did someone call?:D

    (P.S. That is a brilliant skit:))

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