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Definitionsboy's trousers in public.
Verb, transitive. Present participle: debagging.
Past tense and past participle debagged
Alternative spelling: de-bag
(British & Commonwealth slang) To remove someone’s trousers by force, a form of humiliation popular among boys and young men, often used as an initiation rite, or as a punishment for undesirable behaviour or to enforce group norms. Debagging also often occurs as friendly horseplay within a group, but the victim is usually a boy of lower status.
Depriving a victim of his trousers strips him of his dignity and symbolically casts him out as unworthy to associate with other lads.
The word originated among Oxford undergraduates in the early years of the 20th century and is derived from bags, slang for trousers (itself derived from the earlier and now obsolete bum-bags, i.e. bags to contain the bum (= bottom, arse, posterior). Bags in this sense is obsolescent, if not obsolete, used only jocularly or to create a period flavour. It survives only in debag and Oxford bags.
The popularity of elastic-waisted trousers and the ease with which they can be pulled down has created a second meaning: to pull down someone’s trousers in a surprise attack from behind, more a minor embarrassment than a humiliation.
(1). Daniel, of course, jeered at his brother. Daniel called him a sissy and a weakling. Daniel told him the village boys thought he was really a girl. Daniel told him they were going to debag him to find out.
"What does debag mean," said little Jean.
"It means," sneered Daniel, "that they're going to get hold of sissy Gareth, and they're going to get him down on the ground, and then they're going to pull his trousers off.
-- Robin Gordon: The Little Friends (Auksford)
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