Does she get annoyed if I call her "roly-poly"

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Senior Member

Does my friend get annoyed if I call her "roly-poly"? What a good word you recommend? Not "fat" please!

  • ESOL Teacher Jana

    English - USA
    If you don't want to "annoy" your friend or totally alienate her, don't mention her stout figure at all. Anyone who is pleasingly plump doesn't appreciate any reference to the fact from a so-called friend. People who are slightly on the heavy side are easily offended when others mention their girth and heft.


    Senior Member
    So you mean it is insulting? So what is the word you recommend for a fat person but attractive!


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    So what is the word you recommend for a fat person but attractive!
    English does not really have words to call someone attractive while emphasizing their fatness. Probably the best choices would be "curvaceous" or, more obscurely, "zaftig" (a Yiddish loan-word), neither of which really means attractive, though they are at least nice ways of referring to someone's large figure.

    I don't know about Polish culture, but, as Jana indicates above, in English-speaking cultures it is almost always rude to comment in any way on the fact that someone is overweight. I might as well ask you, "What is the nicest way in Polish to say, your breath stinks but I would still like to kiss you?"


    American English
    We don't know whether your friend gets annoyed. We are assuming that she will be annoyed, if you call her "roly-poly" to her face, or if she finds out at some time in the future that you have described her in those terms to others.

    What you should have asked is:

    Will my friend get annoyed . . .
    Would my friend get annoyed . . .

    We still don't know, but our best guess is that she will or she would, if you called her that at some future time.


    Senior Member
    Ok! gotcha! I didn't know that. I had though it was a nice word, until yesterday that one of my friends informed me this word would be the insulting one!

    Thank you :)


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Almost any way you tell a woman she's too heavy will be insulting. Some of them are more offensive than others, but it would be best to avoid mentioning it.

    Some fashion magazines and Web sites say "BBW," which stands for Big, Beautiful Woman. I'd still avoid it, though.


    Senior Member
    Would my friend get annoyed if I called her "roly-poly"? What's a good word that you would recommend? Not "fat", please!
    You might be all right with "attractively proportioned", unless she suspected sarcasm.

    Because fatness in modern Western culture is regarded as as embarrassment, it is difficult to allude to it in a complimentary way. Even terms like "curvaceous" or "curvy" are regarded with suspicion as possible euphemisms for "fat".

    Fatness used to be considered a blessing in the West (e.g. Bobby Shaftoe), and there are many countries today where that is still true (e.g. much of Africa and, to a diminishing degree, the Philippines). Horse-dealers here praise a mare that "always stays fat".

    I don't know if it is merely the word "fat" or fatness itself which is considered offensive in your country. If the former, then you might still be able to compliment someone as "attractively plump". But not in America. ;)
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