10

There is a German music band called "Die Toten Hosen". Is it a metaphor or just a creation by this band with no deeper meaning?

13

There is the colloquial (youth language) expression

tote Hose

which means "nothing going on" or "off-time.", something that is lacking in energy.

For example

Gestern Abend war echt tote Hose in der Innenstadt.
Yesterday there was nothing going on downtown.

The literal translation is "dead trousers."

1
  • 4
    I think by now "youth" includes almost everybody.
    – starblue
    Jul 14 '11 at 20:42
6

I had a teacher that once said that the origin of this expression comes from men with erectile dysfunction. And that's perfectly plausible, it's like your pants (or what you have inside) are dead (nothing happens).

3

Indeed 'dead trousers' refers to a man with erectile dysfunction, but it has wider cultural use, meaning 'uninteresting' or 'not worth bothering with'.

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