fat

  • emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    In BE, I have only heard "husky" in reference to a persons' voice, GWB. A synonym in BE might be "hunky", but that has implications of sexual attractiveness as well as body size/strength.

    "Well-built" is my first thought in answer to the topic.
     

    Vodoun

    Member
    English - America
    In British, you could say 'hench'
    In English husky can work but can also be offensive.

    I would say just 'a big guy' 'big man', if his name was John, you could refer to him as 'big john'

    'Huge' as long as you say it in a positive way.
     

    PMS-CC

    Senior Member
    Burly is the word that comes to mind for me.

    Husky is a size for (fat) children's clothing, and suffers from the same overuse as a euphemism as stout does (as demonstrated in the thread to which cuchuflete linked). In both cases, the emphasis is on big, rather than strong.
     

    Vodoun

    Member
    English - America
    Hello Vodoun. I am confused.

    What does "hench" mean?

    In what way is "husky" offensive?
    Hench is London slang for something/someone big or strong. (I should have mentioned it was slang)

    PMS-CC hit the nail on the head with why husky can be offensive.
     

    Waylink

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    In British, you could say 'hench'
    I have never seen or heard of 'hench' and it is not used in current standard British English.

    'henchman' has a different meaning in modern English
     
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    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you Vodoun and Waylink. No, I have never heard "hench". Perhaps it's gang slang.

    "Husky" is not used in an offensive way in BE, as far as I am aware.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Yes, emma.

    Sorry to be unclear: I meant I hadn't heard "husky" in BrE with the meaning burly/stocky strapping.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I've only ever known husky to be used to describe a slightly hoarse-sounding voice (or as a name for a breed of dog) but I see that it's in the OED meaning "hefty".

    Personally, I would choose hefty or beefy to describe someone who is big but not exactly fat.

    I see "hench" is in the urban dictionary; again, I've never heard it before.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    Oh, right, it's in the OED? Never heard it used in the UK to mean "big". "Hefty" is a good word. No, I had never heard of "hench", but there are plenty of examples on Google.
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    My feeling is that stout almost always implies fatness. Brawny (which I think has a bit of a stupid connotation - not much between the ears, so to speak), stocky if they are small in stature, well-built, hefty (I would use with an object rather than a person) are all possibles.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm curious - having just seen a reference to "husky" meaning "big" in another thread - is "husky" in AmE a compliment or an insult? Or neither?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thank you, Florentia:). So "husky" is something like "well-built", then....
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    "Husky" to me implies some size and strength, as well as more body fat than a fashion model. I don't use "well-built" that way -- but, then, I don't use it at all, so perhaps for others it's synonymous with "husky."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If you are an overweight adult man, you shop in the Big and Tall department. If you are an overweight little boy, your mother buys your clothes from the Husky department. Many boys have been traumatized by the shame of wearing Sears Husky jeans to school with Husky written visibly on the label.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Thanks both! But I'm still having trouble pinning down the overtones of "husky". From what you've said, it's not neutral...
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Do we use 'husky' for anything but dogs and voices? I had only the vaguest idea what it might mean as a personal description, a euphemism for a slobbish bear-like man with a very bad beard with nasty looking bits stuck in it. They mainly live in the Alaskan wilderness.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    In AE "husky" is an attempt by clothing manufacturers to avoid the word "fat" or "big" when labelling their clothes for fat and obese boys. I have never heard it being used outside that context for "fat". It's an attempt to neutralise the concept of fatness. People avoid saying "fat" here. It's a very emotive word.

    I've never heard anyone call anyone else "husky". But I have only 10 years experience of living in the USA and mostly in Maine and New York City.
    It's not so much a neutral word as a euphemism.
     
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