Muffin top

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This article is about the fashion phenomenon. For the 155th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, see The Muffin Tops.
Muffin top visible at waist of a woman walking

A muffin-top (or "muffin top") is a slang term typically used to describe a man or woman's skin or body fat that is visible above the waistline of pants or skirts because of tight clothing. The term is a reference to the way a muffin appears when it has been baked in a muffin tin, in which the top of a muffin is wider than its paper casing.


A muffin with its top wider than its case.

Muffin-top originated as Australian slang in mid-2003,[1] but has since become popular in other English-speaking countries. It may have been first popularized by the Australian television show Kath & Kim. Australia's Macquarie Dictionary named "muffin-top" the word of the year in 2006;[2] the American Dialect Society named it one of the "most creative" new terms that same year.[3] The Oxford English Dictionary added the term to its revised online edition in March 2011.[4]

According to William Safire, writing in The New York Times Magazine, "Muffin-top fills a lexical void" and "describes the roll of excess flesh spilling out primarily in front but possibly all around."[5]

Use in popular media[edit]

In November 2007, the BBC website published an article entitled "Is this the end of the muffin top?" which described a fashion trend for high-waisted shorts, trousers, and miniskirts, which they believed would prevent the appearance of muffin tops. Laura Craik, however, fashion editor for London's Evening Standard, said that she did not think it spelled the end of the muffin top, but that "perhaps they will be in retreat for a while."[6]

A popular song from 30 Rock features Jenna singing about her muffin top.

In 2011, on the fifteenth episode of 90210's third season, muffin tops wer referred to by a supporting cast member.

In 2014, Canadian comedian Erin Keaney released a song and music video titled "Muffin Top," a rap that promotes self-esteem and positive body-image for women and young girls, and also fights against peer-pressure and bullying based on body-type.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Muffin-top:' A bellybutton flasher losing the battle of the bulge". Taipei Times. 2005-08-28. 
  2. ^ "Australian Dictionary Names "Muffin Top" Word Of 2006". 2007-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Truthiness Voted 2005 Word of the Year by American Dialect Society" (PDF). American Dialect Society. 2006-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Muffin top". Oxford English Dictionary. 2011-03-24. 
  5. ^ Safire, William (2005-08-28). "On Language: Muffin-Top". The New York Times Magazine. When the wearer's abdomen is flat, a display of flesh above and well below the bellybutton produces an eye-catching picture of what The Scotsman in Britain has called the Britney belly-flash. However, when the wearer's midriff is flabby, a vivid culinary metaphor is used: muffin-top. As every baker knows, a muffin is a small cake that rises above its metal container. When removed from the pan, its shape is round, with the top hanging over the base of the cake like a small, harmless mushroom cloud. 
  6. ^ Winterman, Denise (2007-11-15). "Is this the end of the muffin top?". BBC. The result is High Streets the length and breadth of the country awash with the unsightly bulges, just like the doughy overspill on a freshly baked muffin—only not so appetising. 
  7. ^ Rock that muffin top: Mom raps hilarious message of body acceptance

External links[edit]