Printable Version
Pronunciation: zahf-tig or zahf-tik Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Bosomy. 2. Having a full, rounded figure (usually of a woman), Rubenesque.

Notes: The American prejudice that everything should be bigger and better no longer carries over to the human figure. However, there is a point at which well-distributed plumpishness is attractive, and this Good Word speaks to that point. Marilyn Monroe had a zaftig figure, as did Mae West. I'm sure you know many more. While this Good Word must be used sensitively, it provides you with a Germanic alternative to the Romance synonym, Rubenesque—if you have preferences in the geography of our lexical pillage.

In Play: Again, use this word sensitively but don't let it scare you away, "Jessie Noff has a zaftig figure and a profound creative talent, a combination some of her friends can't get their minds around." Of course, we can move off base with this good word, too, so long as its reference is in some sense feminine, "Wendell enjoyed spending the evenings cruising retro-chic chicks along the boulevard in his zaftig 1960 Cadillac."

Word History: Today's word is another contribution from our Jewish communities. It is mellowed version of Yiddish zaftik "juicy, zaftig", from German saftig "juicy", the adjective from Saft "juice". It is a kinsword of English sap. The alphaDictionary Think Tank is still bobbing for an answer to the question of why the English correlate, sappy, bears none of the connotations of its Yiddish cousin.

Dr. Goodword,

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