Lexi-tico: Amarrarse los pantalones/enaguas
AMARRARSE LAS ENAGUAS (a-ma-raɾ-se-las-e-na-ɣwas)
AMARRARSE LOS PANTALONES (a-ma-raɾ-se-los- pan-ta-lo-nes)
These expressions would literally translate as “Tighten your skirt” or “Tighten your pants”, respectively. The former expression would apply to women and the latter to men. Semantically, they may imply putting on big girl panties/big boy pants.
“Amarrarse los pantalones (or enaguas)” is a colloquial expression used in many Latin American countries and may have different meanings, for instance:
- Getting ready for something
Example: “Amárrese los pantalones para el examen.” (Get ready for the exam.)
- Persevering in an adverse or difficult situation
Example: “Ella tiene que amarrarse las enaguas y decirles la verdad, pase lo que pase.” (She has to stand firm and tell them the truth, no matter what.)
- Earning people’s respect.
Example: “Don Carlos se amarró los pantalones y habló con los vecinos del problema.” (Don Carlos spoke to the neighbors about the problem and earned their respect.)
Spanish antonyms to “amarrarse los pantalones/enaguas” would be verbs like rendirse (surrender), ceder (relent), retirarse (back off) and a few more.