Slang City Mail

Click here to get this free weekly newsletter delivered to your e-mailbox! Want to see more? Go back to All the Words main page.

August 3, 2005

Slang of the Week: muffin top (noun phrase)
the top of a woman’s (or less often, a man’s) body popping out over the waistband of tight, low-rise pants

When Missy Elliot rapped, “I shake it like Jell-O, make the boys say hell-o!” she was not talking about her muffin top.

Celebrity quote:
“Christina Aguilera is a reformed muffin topper, often spotted onstage during her wild-child period in a pair of badly fitting pants accessorized with an ample tummy roll.”
Mark Ellwood in The New York Daily News

This week’s word, suggested by reader Mark Hazen, describes a phenomenon that is not exactly new, but is far more common than it was in the past. While hip hugger pants were popular with teens in the 1960s and 70s, women of that generation often wore loose caftans or peasant blouses to hide their belly rolls. 

These days, young women are more accepting of their bodies and wear what they like. Another factor behind the increase in muffin top sightings is that today’s Americans are fatter than their hippie counterparts were. According the Center for Disease Control, the number of overweight teenagers has tripled since 1970.

Spare tire and love handles are the usual terms for that excess fat when it is not being squeezed by a too-tight pair of jeans. However, muffin top is not the first baked good to be used as slang for that region of the body. Since the 1700s, boxers have been getting punched in the bread basket (stomach.)

What’s new at Slang City?
In the new Ask AC, Dave writes, "I want to know the meaning of the term bodagger. I believe it might refer to gay men." So what is it? Click and find out. (Warning: adult themes