What Are Short Pants Called?

What Are Short Pants Called?

Have you ever wondered what short pants are called in different parts of the world? It's fascinating to discover the diverse names given to this popular clothing item that provides comfort and freedom during warmer months. From Bermuda shorts to hot pants, and from cutoffs to culottes, there are countless variations that denote the shorter length of pants, each with its own unique history and cultural significance.

The evolution of short pants dates back to ancient times, where different societies developed their own versions of this garment. In ancient Rome, men wore breeches that reached the knee, while in Japan, women donned hakama, loose-fitting divided skirts. As time progressed, shorter pants became more common, reflecting changing fashion trends. Today, statistics show that the demand for shorts has increased, with sales skyrocketing during the summer months. With countless styles to choose from, people can find the perfect pair of short pants for any occasion, whether it's for casual wear or sports activities.

What Are Short Pants Called?

The Various Names for Short Pants

Short pants, also known as shorts, are a staple of casual wear in warm weather. They provide comfort and freedom of movement while keeping the legs cool. However, did you know that short pants go by different names across the world? In this article, we will explore the various names that are used to refer to short pants in different countries and cultures.

Bermuda Shorts

Bermuda shorts are a type of short pants that are named after the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. These shorts have a distinctive design, with a length that falls just above the knee. They are typically made of a lightweight fabric and are often worn in more formal or semi-formal settings. Bermuda shorts are popular in Bermuda itself, as well as in other countries with warm climates.

Bermuda shorts gained popularity in the 20th century when British military officers stationed in Bermuda started wearing them as part of their uniforms. The comfortable and lightweight design of Bermuda shorts made them suitable for the tropical climate of the island. Over time, they became a popular fashion choice and are now associated with a preppy and stylish look.

Today, Bermuda shorts are worn by both men and women and are a common sight in many countries during the summer months. They are often paired with a collared shirt and loafers for a smart-casual outfit.


Culottes are a type of short pants that have a wide and flowing design, resembling a skirt. Unlike skirts, which are typically made from one piece of fabric, culottes have a divided leg area, allowing for greater ease of movement. The name "culottes" originates from the French word "cullote," which means "breeches."

Culottes have a long history and were initially worn by men as part of their traditional attire in the 16th century. However, they gained popularity among women in the early 20th century as a comfortable and practical alternative to skirts. Culottes became particularly popular during the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, as they allowed women to dress in a more liberating and non-conformist manner.

Today, culottes are a fashionable choice for women who want a stylish and versatile option for both casual and formal occasions. They can be paired with a variety of tops and shoes to create different looks, making them a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

Hot Pants

Hot pants are a type of extremely short shorts that gained popularity during the 1960s and 1970s. They are characterized by their high waistline and minimal coverage, often exposing a significant portion of the buttocks. Hot pants were a symbol of women embracing their freedom and breaking away from traditional societal norms.

The term "hot pants" is thought to have originated in the United States, where they were initially worn by go-go dancers in nightclubs. The trend quickly spread to the mainstream fashion industry and became a symbol of the vibrant and bold fashion of the era. Hot pants are typically made of tight-fitting materials such as denim or synthetic fabrics.

While hot pants may not be as commonly worn today as they were in the past, they still make occasional appearances in fashion, particularly during summer music festivals and beach parties. They are considered a daring and bold choice, often associated with a confident and fearless attitude.

Cargo Shorts

Cargo shorts are a practical and functional style of short pants that are characterized by their numerous pockets. These shorts were originally designed for military use, allowing soldiers to carry essential equipment and supplies while keeping their hands free. The extra pockets are typically located on the sides, thighs, and even the back of the shorts.

Cargo shorts became popular in the civilian world in the 1990s and early 2000s and were embraced for their utilitarian design and practicality. They are often made from durable materials such as cotton twill and are favored by outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and those in need of extra pocket space.

Cargo shorts can be styled in various ways, depending on the occasion. They can be paired with a casual t-shirt and sneakers for a relaxed look, or dressed up slightly with a polo shirt and loafers. Cargo shorts are a versatile option for individuals who value both comfort and functionality in their wardrobe.


Jorts, a portmanteau of "jeans" and "shorts," are denim shorts that are made from repurposed jeans. They are often created by cutting off the legs of jeans at the desired length, resulting in a frayed and casual appearance. Jorts are a popular choice for those seeking a rugged and effortlessly cool look.

Jorts gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as a casual and comfortable option for everyday wear. They are often associated with a laid-back and carefree style, and are a common sight at outdoor events and music festivals. Jorts can be paired with a graphic t-shirt and sneakers for a relaxed and trendy outfit.

Although jorts may be considered less formal than other types of short pants, they are still a popular choice for individuals who appreciate a vintage-inspired and effortless sense of style.

Another Perspective: Traditional Attire and Cultural Names

Short pants have not only been influenced by fashion trends but also by traditional attire and cultural practices. In various parts of the world, short pants have unique names and are worn as part of traditional clothing.


In Germany, traditional short pants worn by men are called "Lederhosen." Lederhosen are made from leather and are typically knee-length. They are often associated with Bavarian culture and are commonly worn during festivals, such as Oktoberfest. Lederhosen are a symbol of traditional German culture and are still embraced today as a part of cultural identity.

Historically, Lederhosen were worn by rural farmers and workers as durable clothing suitable for outdoor activities. Over time, they have become a fashion statement, with variations that cater to different tastes and occasions. In addition to the classic knee-length design, there are also shorter varieties known as "Kniebundhosen."

Today, Lederhosen are often paired with traditional Bavarian shirts, suspenders, and knee-length socks. They are worn during cultural events, folk festivals, and other occasions where tradition and heritage are celebrated.


In many Southeast Asian countries, a traditional garment similar to short pants is known as a "sarong." A sarong is a length of fabric that is wrapped around the waist and falls to the knees or ankles. It is commonly worn by both men and women as a versatile and comfortable piece of clothing.

Sarongs come in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials, reflecting the diverse cultures of the region. They are often worn for everyday activities, as well as for formal ceremonies and special occasions. Sarongs can be styled in different ways, depending on the specific cultural practices of each country.

For example, in Indonesia, the sarong is often worn with a batik shirt for formal occasions, while in Malaysia, it is paired with a traditional baju kurung. Sarongs are also commonly worn as beachwear or as a cover-up over swimwear.


In India, men often wear a traditional garment called a "dhoti," which is similar to short pants. A dhoti is a rectangular piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and legs, sometimes extending up to the knees or ankles. It is typically made from cotton or silk and is worn for religious ceremonies, weddings, and other formal events.

The dhoti has a long history in India and is considered a symbol of tradition and cultural heritage. It is often paired with a kurta, a loose-fitting shirt, to complete the traditional attire. The way the dhoti is wrapped varies across different regions of India, adding to the diversity and beauty of the garment.

Although the dhoti is primarily worn by men, it is not uncommon to see women wearing similar garments, such as the "saree" or "lehenga." These garments also involve draping fabric around the waist and legs, creating a stylish and elegant silhouette.


In the Kingdom of Tonga, a small archipelago in the South Pacific, men wear a traditional garment known as a "ta'ovala." A ta'ovala is a woven mat that is wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt-like garment. It is a symbol of cultural identity and is worn for formal occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and important ceremonies.

The ta'ovala is a versatile garment that can be styled in different ways, depending on the occasion. It can be worn on its own or paired with a button-down shirt for a more formal look. The design and intricacy of the weaving can also indicate the status and social standing of the wearer.

The ta'ovala is an essential part of Tongan culture and is considered appropriate attire for important events and gatherings. It represents respect for tradition and is a visual representation of the rich cultural heritage of the island nation.

In Conclusion

Short pants, known by various names around the world, are a versatile and popular choice for warm weather. From Bermuda shorts to cargo shorts, each style has its own unique characteristics and cultural significance. Whether you prefer the classic and formal look of Bermuda shorts or the casual and practical design of cargo shorts, there is a style of short pants to suit every taste and occasion. Additionally, traditional garments like Lederhosen, sarongs, dhotis, and ta'ovalas remind us of the importance of cultural heritage and the diversity of clothing around the world. So the next time you slip into a pair of short pants, remember that they have a rich history and cultural significance beyond just being a comfortable and fashionable choice.

What Are Short Pants Called?

Different Names for Short Pants

In the English language, short pants, also known as trousers or shorts, have various names based on regional and cultural differences.

In the United States and Canada, short pants are commonly referred to as shorts. This term is also widely understood in other English-speaking countries.

  • In the United Kingdom and Australia, short pants are often called shorts or simply, "shorts."
  • In Ireland and Scotland, they are known as "shorts" or "short trousers."
  • In India, they are commonly referred to as "half pants."
  • In parts of the Caribbean and Africa, they are called "short bottoms" or "short trousers."

It is important to note that these variations in terminology may depend on the context, specific region, or personal preference of the speaker. However, they all generally refer to the same garment – short pants.

Key Takeaways

  1. Short pants are commonly known as shorts.
  2. Shorts are a type of clothing that covers the legs partially or fully, depending on the length.
  3. Shorts are usually worn in warm weather or for sports and recreational activities.
  4. They can be made of various materials, including denim, cotton, and polyester.
  5. Shorts come in different styles, such as Bermuda shorts, cargo shorts, and board shorts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions related to the term "What Are Short Pants Called?"

1. What is the term for short pants?

The term for short pants can vary depending on the specific style and region. In general, short pants that reach above the knee are commonly referred to as shorts. They are known by this name in many English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

However, there are additional terms used in different regions. For example, in Australia and New Zealand, short pants are often called "shorts" as well, but "shorts" can also refer to longer length pants. In some countries, you may hear the term "trousers" or "slacks" for short pants. It's essential to consider the context and location when using or understanding these terms.

2. Are there any other names for short pants?

Yes, there are several alternative names for short pants depending on the style and context. Some of these names include:

  • Shorts
  • Trunks
  • Hot pants
  • Board shorts
  • Bermuda shorts
  • Cargo shorts
  • Cut-offs

These terms may be used interchangeably in different regions or for specific types of short pants, such as swim trunks or athletic shorts.

3. What are short pants called in formal settings?

In formal settings, short pants are often referred to as "dress shorts" or "dress trousers." These terms are used to distinguish them from casual or athletic shorts. Dress shorts are made of more formal fabrics and are designed to be worn in semi-formal or business casual situations. They are typically tailored and may have a more structured and polished appearance.

4. What are short pants called for women?

For women, short pants are generally referred to as "shorts." This term applies to various styles and lengths, including those reaching above the knee or mid-thigh. However, specific styles may have their own names, such as "hot pants" or "culottes." The term "shorts" is used universally for women's short pants in most English-speaking countries.

5. Are there any cultural variations in the name for short pants?

Yes, there can be cultural variations in the name for short pants. Different countries and regions may have their own terms based on their language and cultural norms. For example, in India, the term "half pants" or "three-fourths" is often used to refer to short pants. It's always essential to consider the local customs and language when discussing or understanding the name for short pants in a particular cultural context.

In conclusion, the term used to describe short pants varies depending on the region and context. They are commonly known as shorts in many English-speaking countries.

However, in certain parts of the world, they may be referred to as short trousers, hot pants, or even just simply as "pants" in some informal settings. The specific term used can also depend on the style, length, and purpose of the garment.