1. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    equivalents of the term "love handles"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by ohmyrichard, Feb 26, 2010.

    Hi, everyone.
    Just now I watched a video clip titled "Doctor: Love Handles Stopped Bullet" at a website. I remember that I first came across "love handles" in a reading material about half a year ago and at that time I just guessed its meaning. After watching the video, I went to my dictionaries but failed to find the entry. Then I googled the term and got the following explanation:



    It is a colloquialism referring, quite literally, to the "handles" of flesh on the hips which are eventually acquired by all and provide something for your lover to hang on to. When accused of possessing the aforementioned, one's replies might include "just more of me to love" or "more cushion for the pushing".



    Now I have found that the term of "love handles" is really related to sex. Towards the end of the video, one of the two anchors chuckled and said, "First of all, you should know what 'love handles' are." I understand that "love handles" is something we use jokingly. My question is, If I want to avoid using this term, is there anything equally concise which I can use instead?



    Thanks.

    Richard
     
  2. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    We call them a "life jacket", the round shaped one that is, for obvious reasons. Does that help you at all? I thought I'd say it anyway...
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Love handles isn't really overtly sexual. You can use it quite innocently. And there aren't really any widely used synonyms.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    We sometimes call the roll of fat just above the hips a 'spare tyre' :rolleyes:
    But all these terms are colloquial and only used in informal English.
     
  5. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Although the origin of "Love handles" is sexual, the phrase doesn't really have sexual connotations.

    "Spare tyre" is the only alternative that comes to mind...
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    To chime in with the rest, although the term does take it's origination from a sexual source, the term itself has a very soft impact on the listener's ear. It is considered a polite way to mention the physical phenomenon.

    As iolair has mentioed, there is also the semi-equivalent term spare tire* (I am American, hence the i, not the y), but this term, at least in the US, would have a slightly more pronounced impact on the listener. And then, of course, one could forego euphemisms altogether and simply say fat, but unless one is wearing a white medical coat when saying it, that word would be the most harsh for the listener.

    *I say semi-equivalent because when one says love handles, this is really two specific accumulations of fatty tissue, one on each side of the lower torso more towards the posterior side of the torso, and a spare tire is when fat has accumulated all the way around.
     
  7. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    Thank you all for your information on the term and its synonyms. But another question still lingers in my mind: can a child or teenager use the term "love handles" in their talks? It seems to me that there's no problem with adults when we hear them say it. But I doubt whether it is proper for someone who hasn't grown up to use it.
    Thanks again.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There would not be restrictions for a teenager to use this term. It would not be considered any more indelicate than for older persons.

    Now the subject itself, since it does have to do with body image is a bit delicate regardless of the age of the speaker, so many of the points we have all made are arguable depending on ones point of view of such subjects.
     
  9. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    You could say "muffin top".
     
  10. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    If it's a conversation between a couple of younger characters, why not just say "good with the ladies" if that can fit in somehow... Just a suggestion, other than that, nothing better comes to mind, sorry.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i doubt a child or even most teens would even know to use the term, so for believability alone, i wouldn't put it into the dialog of any but an adult...
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    spare tire, is an older term (I guess), as in He's got quite a spare tire around his waist.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Midriff bulge is a more neutral term, but it isn't as specific to the sidewaus protrusions. There is also belt overhang and muffin top.
     
  14. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    You could just describe them as meaty lol
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's an adjective. Richard was looking for other nouns or noun phrases to describe those specific bulges.

    I might call them elbow pillows, but it isn't a term that would be recognized without explanation.
     
  16. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    I agree with afinemess. "Muffin top" would be what the younger generation calls love handles. But I know plenty of people ages 18-25 who use the term love handles, often shortened to just 'handles,' as in "love me, love my handles."
     
  17. ohmyrichard
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    ohmyrichard Active Member

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    I agree with you and maia that a small child who knows nothing about physical love is unlikely to use the term of "love handles". I guess "the fat around his/her/your waist" is the plainest, most neutral phrase for children and everyone in this situation.
     

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