"What's the matter -- d'you have ants in your pants?"
To have "ants
in one's pants
" is a metaphor
for a range of nervous or agitated emotions, leaving one unable to sit or stand still. It is especially applied to children, particularly those whose energy
, once described as "fidgety
", might now be termed "hyperactivity
". The children so labeled might describe themselves as nervous
, or just eager
to move on to a new activity.
It is quite possible, in certain outdoor settings, to actually get ants in one's pants. The sensation is not comfortable in the least, and indeed precipitates a certain degree of twitching. The vivid metaphor finds its way also into traditional children's rhyme, viz.:
You've got ants in the pants
And they make you do the boogie dance
All the way to France
In your underpants!