a belt-and-suspenders kind of girl

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
What does this bolded expression below mean?

‘Jerome?’ Holly asks. ‘Can you still hear me?’
‘Yes.’
‘I want you to turn off the Zappit and put it on Bill’s desk.’ And then, because she’s always been a belt-and-suspenders kind of girl, she adds: ‘Facedown.’

Source: End of Watch by Stephen King

Thank you
 
  • Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    A belt will hold up your pants. Suspenders (braces, in British English) will hold up your pants. There is no need to wear both.

    A belt-and-suspenders person is someone who makes extra effort to make sure nothing is goes wrong.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Most people use either a belt or a pair of suspenders. She uses both. They are mostly redundant and it is (apparently from the eyes of the author) a reflection of the woman's personality. She takes extra precautions.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I know he's American but I only realised what was meant when I read the others' answers: as I said, illuminating.:) So what do you call a suspender belt (as in the photo I posted)?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thank you. A new one on me. Thank goodness I have never tried to buy a suspender belt during my various trips to the US: I'd have ended up looking like one of the Walton family!:D And you lot must be careful when shopping in the UK: a man asking for suspenders might cause a few giggles.:)
     
    "A belt-and-suspenders person is someone who makes extra effort to make sure nothing goes wrong."
    I agree. It gives backup in the event of one failing.
    See also "belt and braces": "the use of two or more actions although only one is strictly necessary".
     
    Last edited:

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Thank you. A new one on me. Thank goodness I have never tried to buy a suspender belt during my various trips to the US: I'd have ended up looking like one of the Walton family!:D And you lot must be careful when shopping in the UK: a man asking for suspenders might cause a few giggles.:)
    A British man shopping for "braces" in the U.S. would be met with confusion also, and probably directed to the sporting goods section or to a pharmacy.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    A British man shopping for "braces" in the U.S. would be met with confusion also, and probably directed to the sporting goods section or to a pharmacy.
    Or to an orthodontist (a dentist). To me "braces" are teeth-straightening appliances installed by a dentist (usually in teen years).

    What meaning would it have in sporting goods?

    Pharmacy? Okay, I found that one: back braces, knee braces...
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    They're largely out of fashion, but there are garters for men (for holding up socks). There's one for each calf rather than having a garter belt that they attach to.
    They're not totally out of fashion in the UK, since they're an essential part of Scottish national dress (unless you want your sgian dubh to fall out during the ceilidh after a particularly energetic strip-the-willow, which is never a good thing as I'm sure you'll agree).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    They're not totally out of fashion in the UK, since they're an essential part of Scottish national dress (unless you want your sgian dubh to fall out during the ceilidh after a particularly energetic strip-the-willow, which is never a good thing as I'm sure you'll agree).
    Those are the "non-suspender" garters usually. There are also sock garters that are suspenders.
    Why Use Men's Sock Garters | Keep Socks Up, Where To Buy
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    As has been pointed out before, if I said (as indeed I can) that in my grandfather's day, it was common for little boys to go to school wearing knickers and suspenders, that would probably raise eyebrows in Britain, but in the US, everyone would know that what I meant was something like this:
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Or to an orthodontist (a dentist). To me "braces" are teeth-straightening appliances installed by a dentist (usually in teen years).

    What meaning would it have in sporting goods?


    Pharmacy? Okay, I found that one: back braces, knee braces...
    Sporting goods would probably also have a few knee braces, wrist braces, and so on. Theirs would be more designed to improve your game than to relieve serious injury.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top