Thinking man's/woman's crumpet

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Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Helen Mirren (right) have been both described as "thinking woman's crumpet" and "thinking man's crumpet" respectively.

In British English, the term the thinking man's/woman's crumpet is a way of describing a man or a woman who is popular with the opposite sex primarily because of their intelligence but also due to their physical attractiveness.[1]

Derivation[edit]

It derives from the slang use of the term "crumpet" to refer to a woman who is regarded as an object of sexual desire.[2]

Usage[edit]

The first person to be called "the thinking man's crumpet" was Joan Bakewell, by humorist Frank Muir, following her appearances in high-brow television discussion programmes such as BBC2's Late Night Line-Up.[3] Bakewell is still synonymous with the phrase, but it has subsequently been applied to other high-profile women such as Anne Gregg,[4] Joanna Lumley,[4] and Felicity Kendal,[4] and, more recently, Helen Mirren[5] Jennifer Saunders and Gillian Anderson.[6] In a poll in the Radio Times in 2003, Nigella Lawson received the most votes to be the readers' "thinking man's crumpet",[7] with Carol Vorderman in second place.[citation needed]

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth have been repeatedly called by the press "the thinking woman's crumpet."[8][9][10]

After the release of the 1997 film Titanic, Kate Winslet was dubbed by one newspaper as "the sinking man's crumpet",[11][12] but this moniker was repeated by only one other British newspaper.

References[edit]