Green’s Dictionary of Slang

knickers n.

[abbr. SE knickerbockers; spec. the knickbocker suits once worn by convicts]

[1900s-30s] (UK prison) by meton., a prison sentence.

In compounds

knickers and stockings (n.)

[1930s] by meton., a term of imprisonment.

knickers bandit (n.) [1960s+]

one who steals from washing lines; by ext. a small-time petty criminal.

In phrases

get the knickers (v.) [1930s+]

(UK prison) to get penal servitude.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

act as if one’s knickers were on fire (v.)

[1960s+] to panic, to behave hysterically.

come home with your knickers torn and say you found the money (v.)

[20C+] a phr. used to indicate the speaker’s inability to believe an extremely unlikely story.

get one’s knickers in a twist (v.) (also get one’s knickers in a knot, ...twisted, get one’s frillies in a twist, ...Tampax..., ...turban..., ...underwear..., ...panties in a bunch, ...in a wad, ...up one’s crack) [1960s+]

1. to become excessively agitated over a problem or situation, to worry to extremes; thus don’t get your knickers in a twist, stop getting so worried; knicker-twisting, agonizingly worrying; thus used with other garments (cf. get one’s tits in a twist under tit n.2 ).

2. to make a mistake, to be under a misapprehension, to ‘get the wrong end of the stick’.

I’d eat my chips out of her knickers

see under eat v.

shut one’s knickers (v.)

[1960s] to be quiet, to stop talking, esp. as imper.

In exclamations