One of the interesting aspects of reading ‘spanking literature’ is to note the differences in the language that different people use to describe ‘incidents’ and the manner of speech of chastiser and chastisee.
Growing up in Scotland in the 50s and 60s, it is quite surprising to just consider how central an aspect of life physical discipline was. Smacking really was an everyday thing – not that everybody got smacked every day, but it would be a rare day that would pass when you did not encounter somebody who had just been smacked, or was going to get it, or who spoke about it in some way.
In the primary schools, and maybe a little bit less in secondary school, ‘the belt’ was pretty well used in every class every day.
One curious aspect of language that I recall was the way my mum used to talk about trousers (and knickers) being taken ‘down, right down or off’. My mum just plain and simple never smacked on the trouser seat – trousers always came down. The only exception would be the quick smack on the back or sides of the legs. (There were also ‘proper’ leg smackings, but they involved trousers coming off – knickers were kept on.)
One would suppose that if the trousers are coming down, then it really makes no difference how far down they would come or whether you had to step out of them or not. But my mum definitely associated the sequence of down, right down and off as an indicator of increasing severity.
This was very clear in the ‘threatening’ or ‘discussion’ stage of a smacking. The usual way of issuing a verbal reprimand with the threat of a smacking would be something like: “Do you want me to take your trousers down?”, or “If you don’t watch yourself, I’ll take these trousers right down.” Or again, “If I have to speak to you again, I’ll take your trousers off.” Another variant: “Do you want everybody to see you with your trousers right down round your ankles?”
In practical operation, what it would mean would be:
- Trousers down – would simply mean that they were partly unbuttoned and slipped down just enough to expose the knicker-covered seat, or the bare bottom if it was also knickers down.
- Trousers right down – meant, effectively, down round your ankles, although if it was a smacked bottom over mum’s knee, then they might start round the knees. Actually, in the case of an over-the-knee smacking, ‘right down’ did really mean it was a more severe smacking, simply for the reason that when trousers were taken all the way down and you were over mum’s knee, the whole area of the bottom and back of the legs was laid bare, and would normally be attended to.
- Trousers off – meant just that. It could possibly have been that the ‘trousers off’ order would be, in effect, a preparation for being sent to bed afterwards – you won’t be needing them again, so you might as well get them off. Certainly there was some ‘correlation’ in that a smacking from a really angry mum would normally be a really hard one, with trousers off and being sent to bed after.
One of the worst thing about the trousers off version was the actual procedure of getting them off. If it was simply down or right down, then mummy took them down and the procedure was quick and simple. For an over-the-knee smacking, she would sit, you stood beside her and she would unfasten the buttons and in a single movement slip your trousers down (along with your knickers if they were coming down as well) and pull you over her knee.
Trousers off, on the other hand, you had to do yourself. So there you are, standing in front of an angry mother. You are crying and trying to delay and avoid what is coming and you are told: “Get these trousers off, now!” The angry and impatient mother can’t wait to get started and you are not moving very fast at all, so you get helped along with a few good slaps.