Printable Version
Pronunciation: fêb-zee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Squat and chubby.

Notes: The noun that today's adjective is based on is sometimes fub and sometimes (a) fubs. For that reason we find two adjectives: fubby and fubsy. The latter, however, is heard and seen more than the former. It bears a resemblance, which is probably not wholly coincidental, to pudgy.

In Play: Although it may sound a little harsh to politically correct Americans, this word is generally used affectionately: "I saw Nathan with his fubsy little boy riding around in an appropriately fubsy little British car." In fact, it is used as often in speaking of objects as in speaking of people: "Chester Drors came to the party in a fubsy little bowler hat that would hardly stay on his head."

Word History: The noun from which today's Good Word is derived, fub(s) is a blend (two words mushed together) of fat and chub. Fat comes from an old root pei-t- which also gave Greek its pion "fat" and probably underlies Latin pituita "gum, phlegm". This word went into the making of English pituitary, the name of the master endocrine gland and an adjective meaning "mucous, secreting mucus". The root of this word is related to pinus "pine", whence English pine and French pinot, as in pinot noir, the vine with grapes that hang in a pine-shaped cluster. The source of chub and chubby has everyone stumped.

Dr. Goodword,

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