Posted by TheFallen on March 03, 2003
In Reply to: Re: All mouth and trousers posted by ESC on March 02, 2003
: : : can anyone tell me if this
: : : all mouth and trousers
: : Yes, that phrase is in Eric Partridge's book "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British" and is defined as "noisy and worthless stuff," applied to "a loud-mouthed, blustering fellow."
: : It must be a British phrase. I haven't heard it here in the U.S.
: ALL MOUTH AND TROUSERS - "adj. British. Blustering and boastful, showing off without having the qualities to justify it.There is a suggestion that this is a corruption of a more logical, but rarely heard expression, 'all mouth and no trousers'. meaning full of talk but deficient in the sexual area. A less racy version is 'all talk and no action'. ." From the "Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books, New York, 1990).
: On White Oak Mountain in W.Va., we called a boastful person a "blow George." In Texas, it is "all hat and no cattle."
"All mouth and trousers" and "all mouth, no trousers" are both still used interchangeably in the UK today, both meaning as described by previous posters.
Very similar expressions would be "blowhard" (archaic), "all talk, no action" or "he talks the talk but don't (sic)/can't walk the walk", which we've inherited from the US.