From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The loins, or lumbus, are the sides between the lower ribs and pelvis, and the lower part of the back.[1][2][3] The term is used to describe the anatomy of humans and quadrupeds, such as horses,[4][5] pigs,[6][7] or cattle.[8] The anatomical reference also applies to particular cuts of meat, including tenderloin or sirloin steak.[2]

Human anatomy[edit]

In human anatomy the term "loin" or "loins" refers to the side of the human body below the rib cage to just above the pelvis.[1] It is frequently used to reference the general area below the ribs. While the term "loin" is generally not used in medical science,[9][failed verification] some disorders do include the term.[10]

The lumbar region of the spinal column is located in the loin area of the body.[11]

Society and culture[edit]

In contemporary usage the term appears primarily in two contexts: where loins are "girded" in preparation for a challenge, or else euphemistically referring to human genitals.[1][2] In literature or poetry, to feel a "stirring" in one's loins may suggest sexual excitement.

The word "loincloth" in the Bible, is used to refer to an item of clothing which covers the loins.[12] The "fruit" of one's loins refers to offspring,[13] and "fruit of my loins" also appears in the King James Version.[14]

Loins may refer generally to the lower area of the body,[15] much like the term "below the belt" derives from a belt worn at the waist.[16]

When the long tunic of the Ancient era was the typical garment, the phrase "gird one's loins" described the process of raising and securing the lower portion of the tunic between one's legs to increase mobility for work or battle.[17] In the modern age, it has become an idiom meaning to prepare oneself for action, as in:

If your counselor says your aptitude scores show that you have the ability [ ... ], gird up your loins and start making a valiant try right now.[18]

Loins in butchery[edit]

American-tradition cuts
American-tradition cuts
British-tradition cuts
British-tradition cuts
When a carcass is butchered, it is divided into many sections

Butchers refer to the section of meat below the rib cage, but above the round (in a carcass hanging from the head end) as loin. Various names of meats further butchered from the loin section of cattle and pig contain the name "loin" such as tenderloin and sirloin. In American butchery of beef, the loin section of beef is further divided and named sirloin,[19] top sirloin,[19] short loin[19] and tenderloin.[19]

In the British butchery of beef, the same section is generally referred to as the "rump".

Cuts of pork of this section include pork loin and pork tenderloin.[20]

It has been suggested by culinary professionals that tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef one can get.[21] The loin section of beef is fairly popular among consumers for its low fat qualities.[20] It is the source of filet mignon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "loin". Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  2. ^ a b c "loin". Compact Oxford English dictionary of current English. London: Oxford U.P. 2005. ISBN 0-19-861022-X. Retrieved 2008-08-13.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Surface Anatomy of the Back - Human Anatomy". Theodora.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  4. ^ "Body Parts of the Horse". Gaited Horses. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  5. ^ "Parts of the Horse Clickable Image - Parts of the Horse The Loin". Horses.about.com. 2009-11-02. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  6. ^ "Pork Tenderloin". All Recipes. Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  7. ^ "Do You Know the Parts of Your Pet Pig?". United Pet Pig Registry, Inc. Retrieved 2008-08-13. extracted from Reeves, David E.; H. Neil Becker; American Association of Swine Practitioners (1993). Care and management of miniature pet pigs: guidelines for the veterinary practitioner. Santa Barbara, California: Veterinary Practice Pub. Co. ISBN 0-9603534-3-7.
  8. ^ "Recipes - Roast Beef Tenderloin". Cooks.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  9. ^ "Loin definition - Medical Dictionary definitions of popular medical terms easily defined on MedTerms". Medterms.com. 1998-03-26. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  10. ^ "Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome". Webmd.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  11. ^ "Anatomy - Lumbar Spine". Back.com. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  12. ^ "BibleTab". Loincloth. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  13. ^ "TheFreeDictionary Idoms Collection". Fruit of [his\my] Loin. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  14. ^ "ScriptureText". Acts 2:30. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  15. ^ "GraceCathedral". Sermon Exserpts. 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  16. ^ "Phrases.org.uk". Phrase Meanings: Below the Belt. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  17. ^ G. Johannes Botterweck & Helmer Ringgren (1981). Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Vol. 4. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 442. ISBN 9780802823281. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  18. ^ Leslie L. Nason, Ed. D. (6 October 1965), "School of your Choice", Lawrence Daily Journal, p. 3, retrieved 1 February 2016
  19. ^ a b c d "GourmetSleuth". Guide to Beef Cuts. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  20. ^ a b Rattray, Diana. "Pork Tenderloin Recipes". About.com. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  21. ^ "Steak: Grades & Cuts - Know what beef to buy". Bbq.about.com. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2010-03-17.