Sow vs. sew and the case of the explosive underwear

sowed into underwear 001

A story in today’s Times contains this bit of curious phrasing.

As I read, I imagined this misguided chap bent over in an airport restroom in Amsterdam, his drawers at his knees, and accomplices scattering cluster bombs about his briefs. (Boxers simply wouldn’t have worked for something like that.)

I’m afraid to think of alternative ways for explosive devices to be scattered about one’s underwear.

No doubt this is a case of mistaken identity, one involving sew and sow.

Sew is what you do with needle and thread. It involves stitching. Presumably, our would-be bomber had sewed (or sewn) explosives into his underwear.

Sow is what you do with seeds. It means to scatter things about.

Yes, it’s possible that the suspect sowed explosives into his underwear. He would have been easy to spot, though, as his rear hung low on the way to the gate, and the droppings he toted making him irritable enough to dismiss all around him with a single word:

Scat!

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