Washboard (belly) Vs Six pack (abs)

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Hello everyone,

When talking about "a stomach with well developed abdominal muscles", I found that there are two options in English: washboard (belly) and "six pack (abs)". I recently heard from a friend of mine that only "six pack" is used in current English in the USA. But the problem is that Merriam-Wesbter says "washboard" is also possible. My question: Which option is used in current everyday English?

Examples I made:

She has a washboard. Vs She has a six pack.
John has a washboard. Vs John has a six pack.

Meaning: their abdominal muscles are very developed and you can easily see it.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    If you just say "washboard", it'd mean the board used to wash clothes or the musical instrument.

    You need "She/John has a washboard stomach".

    I don't know about the US in particular but I hear both used, and I think "six-pack" is more common. "Six-pack" sounds more casual to me.
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    I hear both, but I also understand them with slightly different meanings. A washboard is flat; it doesn't have six distinct blocky bulges. So a flat belly is a washboard and one with the six bulging muscles is a 6-pack. As a result, "washboard" is more common for describing women, and "6-pack" is more common for describing men, although there's crossover in both directions.
     

    jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The expression "six-pack abs" is more common today in the US due I think to advertising.

    I've also heard men make the joke that their "beer belly" is a "six pack".
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    The expression "six-pack abs" is more common today in the US due I think to advertising.

    I've also heard men make the joke that their "beer belly" is a "six pack".
    Mine's a keg . . . . :D

    I agree that "six-pack" has become more common than "washboard abs;" I suspect this is because six-packs are common but I haven't seen a washboard since I was ten. (I'm referring to the actual items, not the muscles.)
     
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