come home with your knickers torn and say you found the money

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Senior Member
Hello. Could you please tell me if the literal implication is that the person did not find the money but earned it as a prostitute? Also, could the phrase be said to men if we don't believe them? Thank you.

knickers, n. — Green’s Dictionary of Slang
come home with your knickers torn and say you found the money (v.)
a phr. used to indicate the speaker’s inability to believe an extremely unlikely story.
  • Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    As a teenager I had a friend whose parents were Cockney immigrants. The mother had an expression for people who seemed flustered or in a rush: "Got your knickers in your hand bag, luv?"

    I've never seen this expression elsewhere. The implications were obvious to us teens and we thought it colorful and funny, but never dared use it in our Canadian accents.

    It's worth keeping in mind that many such humorous catch phrases come out of comedy routines or films or TV shows of the era. They can catch on briefly and intensely then die out as memory of the source fades.

    I heard this phrase in the 1970s and the speaker was in her 50s at the time and had emigrated at least 30 years previously. So the catch phrase would have dated from the 1940s, or earlier.
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