We don’t want to get caught with our pants off

Marykathryn strikes again!  In preparing for a trial, she and her husband were discussing strategy and who was going to do what. She told him they had better really study the transcript from the Deposition and be prepared to catch the witness in any lies. He agreed. She then uttered, “Well after all, we do not want to get caught with our pants off.”  This is a great congruent conflation of “caught off guard” and “caught with our pants down”, both meaning to be taken by surprise.  This is an amusing mash up, for many reasons.  First, it uses the word “off” in the wrong place.  Adding to the confusion is the word “caught” found in both phrases.  “Pants off” and “pants down” achieve the same purpose, so I can see why the speaker mixed up her idioms.   Another shout out to Marykathryn Kopec for providing a great malaphor!


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