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Debagging, also known as depantsing and just known as pantsing in the United States, is the pulling down of a person's trousers or underwear mostly against their wishes, typically as a practical joke, but in other instances as a (somewhat common) sexual fetish. The most common method is to sneak up behind the intended victim, grab the trousers at the waist, and apply a quick downward tug before the victim is aware of the assailant's presence.

Debagging is a common prank in school gym classes as a form of bullying.[citation needed][1][2] Its most extreme form includes running the trousers up the school flagpole.[3] Some U.S. colleges before World War II were the scenes of large-scale "depantsing" scraps between freshman and sophomore males, often involving more than 2,000 participants.[4] It is also an initiation rite in fraternities[5] and seminaries.[6] It was cited in 1971 by Gail Sheehy as a form of sexual assault against grade school girls, which did not commonly get reported, although it might include improper touching and indecent exposure by the perpetrators.[7] The United States legal system has prosecuted it as a form of sexual harassment of children.[8]

Alternative names[edit]

In Britain, especially historically at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England, the term is known as "debagging" (derived from "Oxford bags", a loose-fitting baggy form of trousers).

The corresponding term in Australia is dakking, dacking or daxing, which originated from DAKS Simpson, a clothing brand that became a generic term for pants and underwear.[9][10] The term double-dacking is used when both the pants and underwear are pulled down. In Scotland the process is often known as breeking or breekexxing from the word "breeks" meaning trousers. In New Zealand the act is known as giving someone a down trou or "a drou"; in Ireland jocking, zoonking or ka-blinking; in the north of England kegging (or quegging).


Debagging can be used as a form of bullying and is technically the crime of simple assault. The practice has been viewed as a form of ritual emasculation. In 2007, British Secretary of State for Education and Skills Alan Johnson, in a speech to the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, criticized such bullying and criticized YouTube for hosting a movie (since removed) of a teacher being pantsed, saying that such bullying "is causing some [teachers] to consider leaving the profession because of the defamation and humiliation they are forced to suffer" and that "Without the online approval which appeals to the innate insecurities of the bully, such sinister activities would have much less attraction."[11][12][13]

Juanita Ross Epp is highly critical of teachers who regard pupils debagging one another as normal behavior, saying that debagging makes pupils feel intimidated and uncomfortable and that "normal is not the same as right".[14]

Focus populations[edit]

Debagging occurs most often in school. Girls may collude with dominant boys in targeting weaker boys, and may also single out certain boys that do not share attributes with the dominant male group without the help of or the instigation of boys.[15]


  1. ^ [1] Roberts, Walter B. "Bullying From Both Sides: Strategic Interventions for Working With Bullies & Victims" Corwin Press, 2005. Pages 84-85. ISBN 1-4129-2580-0 ISBN 978-1-4129-2580-8
  2. ^ [2] Voors, William, "The parent's book about bullying: changing the course of your child's life." Hazelden, 2000. Page 6. ISBN 1-56838-517-X ISBN 978-1-56838-517-4. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  3. ^ [3] Cunningham, Patricia and Lab, Susan, "Dress and popular culture." Popular Press, 1991. Page 120. ISBN 0-87972-507-9 ISBN 978-0-87972-507-5 Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Customs were rugged then." The Daily Collegian (Penn State), 13 September 1950. Volume 51, no. 2, page 1. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  5. ^ [4] Hodapp, Christopher and Von Kannon, Alice "Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies."For Dummies, 2008. Page 159. ISBN 0-470-18408-6 ISBN 978-0-470-18408-0 Retrieved 25 August 2009
  6. ^ [5] Jordan, Mark D. "The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism." University Of Chicago Press, 2002. Page 164. ISBN 0-226-41043-9 ISBN 978-0-226-41043-2 Retrieved 25 August 2009
  7. ^ [6] Sheehy, Gail, "Nice girls don't get into trouble." New York Magazine 15 Feb 1971, page 28. Retrieved 25 August 2009,
  8. ^ [7] Martinson, Floyd Mansfield, "The sexual life of children." Bergin & Garvey, 1994, Page 136. ISBN 0-89789-376-X ISBN 978-0-89789-376-3. Retrieved 25 August 2009
  9. ^ Oxford University Press, "Dak", Word of the Month, 2010. Archived 29 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 22 October 2010).
  10. ^ McClure, Geoff. "Campo 'point' of view gets a makeover" The Age 16 February 2006. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  11. ^ "Youtube condemned by minister". The Watford Observer. Newsquest Media Group. 12 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "British education minister warns malicious online videos hurting teachers". Broadcast Newsroom. Associated Press. 10 April 2007. 
  13. ^ "Teachers are devastated by pupils' net effects". Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media. 13 April 2007. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. 
  14. ^ Juanita Ross Epp (1996). "Schools, Complicity, and Sources of Violence". In Juanita Ross Epp and Ailsa M. Watkinson. Systematic Violence: How Schools Hurt Children. Routledge. p. 17. ISBN 0-7507-0582-5. 
  15. ^ Neil Duncan (1999). Sexual Bullying: Gender Conflict and Pupil Culture in Secondary Schools. Routledge. pp. 21–32. ISBN 0-415-19113-0.