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go commando (third-person singular simple present goes commando, present participle going commando, simple past went commando, past participle gone commando)

  1. (idiomatic, intransitive) To forgo wearing underpants.
    • 1996, Friends (TV series), "The One Where No One's Ready" [3.02], Act 2, approx. 12 minutes (of 23):
      Ross: … why do you have to wear underwear tonight?
      Joey: It's a rented tux, 'kay? I'm not gonna go commando in another man's fatigues.
    • 2008, Jennifer Weiner, The Guy Not Taken, →ISBN:
      A little girl in pink exited one of the stalls with her mother behind her. “I wear big girl underpants now!” she proclaimed. She looked up at my sister. “Do you wear big girl underpants?” Nicki stared down at her. “No, I generally go commando.”
    • 2012, Jessica Sims, Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter, →ISBN:
      Cute, but I saw a panty line. I stripped my panties off. No time to do more shopping—I'd just go commando.
  2. (more generally) To forgo standard protections.
    • 2005, Shane A. Bernskoetter, Surviving Twilight: A soldier's chronicle of daily life in Iraq, →ISBN:
      I was one of the only soldiers out there wearing hearing protection; all the rest just went commando.
    • 2013 September 16, Michael Gregg, “Is Anything Safe Online?”, in Huffington Post:
      Does this mean you shouldn’t bother setting a password on your network? Absolutely not — WPA/WPA2 are still much better options than WEP or going commando, but it's important to realize that these “protected” setups aren't bulletproof.
    • 2016 May 22, Chris Matyszczyk, “Why I'll never buy an iPhone case”, in CNET-:
      It may even be a minority of one. I carry my phone around just the way the deities made it. It happens to be an iPhone, but I'd feel just the same about a Samsung Galaxy -- especially the Edge series, which strikes me as quite beautiful. Is there no way you can let your phone go commando?
  3. (rare) To forgo something usually considered standard equipment.
    • 2011, Doug Sahlin, Digital Landscape and Nature Photography For Dummies, page 134:
      When you want to learn how to use a specific piece of gear, such as a new lens, or master a specific technique, I advise that you go commando. When you go commando, you take just enough gear to master the technique you want to learn or only the lens with which you want to become more familiar.
    • 2015 August 24, Firas Kittaneh, “10 Ways to Kill the Distractions and Supercharge Your Productivity”, in Entrepreneur:
      Coding Horror author Jeff Atwood believes, “One of the quickest ways to increase your productivity on the computer is to go commando: stop using the mouse.”
    • 2016 March 9, Dian Schaffhauser, “How to Go Textbook Free”, in Campus Technology:
      The University of Maryland University College is the largest institution in the country to go "commando" on textbooks.