''Heavy'' as a less rude way to say "fat" / other euphemisms.

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Does "heavy" meaning "fat" in a less rude way sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. I gained a lot of weight. I'm heavy. ''No, John, you aren't. That's just your impression.''
b. Anna is so heavy now. She used to be slim. But now she looks very different.
c. That boy is very heavy. He eats only junk food. That's why. He should go on a diet.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • pickarooney

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    There's really no less rude way to say fat. People have tried all manner of euphemisms from husky to portly to big-boned but the end result is you're still calling someone fat and if they don't appreciate the implication it didn't matter what word you use.

    So, yes, heavy can be used this way.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If "heavy" is less blunt than "fat" it is only slightly so. I don't think "I'm heavy" is something someone would ever say, but we might say "he's gotten a bit heavy" about a third person.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    A person is unlikely to use it to spare their own feelings. It's more likely they'd use whatever the opposite of a euphemism is. [dysphemism]
    :):thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:I wouldn't dream of calling myself heavy: I'm a fat bastard/c_nt, plain and simple.
    And if someone referred to me as heavy within my earshot, I'd correct them: "I'm not heavy: I'm fat. I won't die if you say it out loud."
    Replacing fat with heavy is strictly for the kinds of people who think they have to use euphemisms.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I cheerfully describe myself as 'obese', if I have to, and when I'm in a really good mood I say 'morbidly obese'.:D Or maybe "'fat slob', but it's all first class fat, none of your junky stuff".

    I'd like to think this is 'dysphemism'. The 'first-class fat' part is fact: nothing but pricey grub.
     
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    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Delighted to know that my fellow members have such good self esteem that they are not insulted by plain speech.

    However, referring to someone as heavy or as heavy set is common and is indeed a bit more polite than just saying "fat," especially when you must mention weight.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Apparently people have been fat since at least February of 2008 when this earlier thread appeared: euphemisms for "fat"*

    A discourse of euphemisms for "fat".

    Not listed as far as I could see was "house cow" a kinder, gentler way of calling someone a "porker".

    There is no really polite way to say this. If the option is open, move onto another topic.


    * Note: The linked thread is in the All Languages forum and is very interesting. It lists euphemisms in many languages, as well as explanations in English. Cagey, moderator.
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think that some people believe that Rubenesque is less rude. I don't see it. If you Google "Rubenesque" [images] and look at the pictures you will see what I mean.

    But still, I guess "Rubenesque" is better than "fatso".
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    A search for Rubenesque brings up virtually every conceivable body shape including Marilyn Monroe, so it's ambiguous enough that it might be a compliment.
    In Rubens' time that body type was considered quite the thing. I hated Twiggy; I thought she ruined everything wonderful about the female body. Luckily Paulina Porizkova came to the rescue.
     

    pickarooney

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    The word 'curvy' which in the old days was a Monrovian hourglass is now often used as a euphemism for fat. While it might be more acceptable to use it for larger ladies in some situations, it's now fraught with danger if you use it for an actual curvy woman.

    For a man, if you stress the notion of power in his build you can skirt around calling him a fatso by too much of associating the word with chubby lads inevitably makes it taboo.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    In Rubens' time that body type was considered quite the thing. I hated Twiggy; I thought she ruined everything wonderful about the female body. Luckily Paulina Porizkova came to the rescue.
    < Off topic. > And pickarooney, for "curvy", I've heard "curvaceous", too.

    < Off-topic comment removed. Cagey, moderator. >
     
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    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The word usually used in this circumstance is "overweight." It's commonplace enough that it doesn't register as a euphemism, so people use it about themselves a lot. And it's actually considered less rude; none of the options mentioned above really are (except "curvy" and that is only used for women, specifically in a fashion context).

    All of the following would work:

    a. I gained a lot of weight. I'm overweight.
    b. Anna is so overweight.
    c. That boy is very overweight.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    I'm sure I've posted something like this in a post among the three pages of them which include the word "fat":

    "husky" was a euphemism for men's and boys' clothing. "portly", I think, is no longer used, and neither is "plump" (mostly for women, I think, and "pleasingly plump" would be considered a sexist [or "physiologist"?] term today). "stout" is possible, but "well-covered" and "ample" have also fallen out of current usage. In women's fashion, I think "full-figured" is used nowadays. So, by default, "heavy" for "overweight" to "morbidly obese". Whether the person referred to by any of these terms would be offended varies, as we have seen here, according to the individual.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the plain and simple 'big' - which leaves things sufficiently ambiguous, and might even have positive connotations.
     
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