CHICAGO — Where does the phrase “seat of your pants” come from?

It was first used around 1935.

According to an issue of Popular Science: “Blind flying was known as ‘seat-of-the-pants’ flying.” It referred to pilots flying in the heavy fog without their instruments. 

They learned to tell whether they were flying right side up by the pressure against their parachute packs. Over time, it also was used to describe a person who acts instinctively or spontaneously. And is still used to this day.

The WGN Morning News crew also discuss Brotox, color TV, and chamberpots.

Love the WGN Morning News? We love you, too. And you can have all the hijinks delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. Sign up and subscribe to our WGN Morning News newsletter.