That got your attention, didn’t it?
The F-word seems to have become so uncompromisingly politically incorrect that all sorts of other words are being used to circumvent it and you don’t see it written much. How many other ways are there of saying it and how many people have you seen recently described as fat?
There are, at last count, at least a few dozen other ways to say fat. Political correctitude be damned. Years ago, I moderated a translation forum, and politically incorrect fat was the topic of an interesting discussion among folks from five or six Emglish speaking countries, together with some native speakers of other languages. Summarizing the extended—or should I say distended? — arguments in favor of and against using euphemisms for fat, there were the pc faction militating against hurting feelings, and the direct speech proponents. The former suggested many gentle alternatives, including husky, big-boned, portly, ample, large. The latter said that all of those evoked the word fat in the mind of the reader or listener, so why not say fat?
I suggested a test of sorts:find a reasonably intelligent seven or eight year old. Use each of the alternatives in a simple sentence describing a person. Ask the child what the alternates meant in the sentence, or “What is being said about the _____ person?”
The child would, according to unanimous small sample test results, reply with the f-word.
Yesterday, power finally restored after six days of electron-free darkness in much of Maine, where we know the difference between weather and climate and have had more than our fair share of both lately, I ventured into town for sump pump repair parts. I passed a local emporium that sells large, larger, and largest size women’s apparel. It is named Women of Substance. Local folks refer to it as ‘the fat shop’.
When I came here two decades ago, I heard a new euphemism for certain fat persons: Bee Em Double-u, or BMW. Confused by the German automotive reference, which didn’t fit well with the context in which it was used, I enquired. Turns out it means Big Maine Woman.