Thursday, 5 August 2010

Let me have men about me....

No, on second thoughts let me not. Samuel Johnson noted a useful word for the one in four men and one in three women in the UK who are overweight:

gorbelly [from gor, dung, and belly, according to Skinner and Julius. It may perhaps come from gor, Welsh, beyond, too much; or, as seems to me more likely, may be contracted from gourmand, or gourmand's belly, the belly of a glutton.] A big paunch, a swelling belly. A term of reproach for a fat man.

(According to the OED, Skinner and Julius were right.)

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