Slang

Sleep Tight, Loose Underwear

Emily Strasser
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“Good night, sleep tight, loose underwear.” The first time my Ladakhi roommate said this to me, I sat up in bed in surprise. “Loose underwear?” “Yes, so funny…” she said, and laughed to herself. A Tibetan girl assured me that this was an American phrase. After weeks of being perplexed by the origins of this strange joke, I spoke to an older German nun, who told me nuns giggled over the same jest in nunneries 18 years ago. She explained that the humor somehow came from the fact that you want to sleep tight, but not in tight underwear! I still have no idea how this joke came to be, but I find it hilarious. Try it out on Tibetan friends!

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