Obese: an adjective to describe someone having excessive body fat.

I hate this word as I am sure most of the world who has ever had a weight problem feels the same way.  It seems such a horrible word. I would never play the Oboe and do not like the sound of it because the word is so close to Obese.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists some pretty amazing synonyms for Obese.  There is Blubbery. Nice.  Things can’t get worse right? Chubby.  OK, I can handle that word. Corpulent.  I have no idea what that means but I like the sound of it.  “He is a bit corpulent.”  You can call me that all day.  How about fleshy?  Is that a joke….?  Oh yes, I am fleshy.  I have too much flesh.  Full… Can you imagine someone saying you look full? Gross. OK, we are finally getting to the issue.  Most people consider Obese people to be gross.  I think we are on to something here. Lardy… As my mother used to say — so she did not curse — Lardy, Lardy, Lardy.  “My dear, you look a bit lardy this morning.”  There are the normal ones: fat, overweight (my personal favorite), plump, portly, pudgy. Podgy is British.  Not bad.  You could hardly be offended with someone saying, “Tea & Biscuits, Mr. Podgy?”  How about trying these on for size: roly-poly, rotund, tubby — OK enough. I think we are starting to call people names now.

What about the origin of the word OBESE.  I love to look at the origins of words.  Sometimes they give us clues as to what the hell people were thinking when they coined the term OBESE. Again, according to Merriam-Webster, Obese comes from the latin word obesus.  Not bad but that tells us nothing. It is the pulling together of the word “ob” which means “against” and “esus” which is the past participle of “edere” which means “to eat”. So taken together it literally means “against eating”.  Now does that make sense?  If anything Obese should mean “for eating” or “pro-eating”. He was very pro-eating — he was obese.

Overweight people, or people who have ever had a weight problem, will love the Antonyms for Obese.  They are: lean, skinny, slender, slim, spare and thin.  Pretty much all the people you would like to throw off of a bridge. Now those people are “against eating”.  Who would be against eating more than someone who is skinny, slender or slim? I think if one of the synonyms for Obese were FULL shouldn’t an antonym be EMPTY?  “He looks empty.” or “He is lacking of personality because he is EMPTY.”  Shouldn’t the antonym for LARDY be LEAKY?

When looking at a list of words that rhyme with Obese one stands out: decease.  That is appropriate. I can’t tell you how many people told me that if I did not lose weight I would die.  Maybe true, but is it really something you should say to someone?  Is that motivating to you?  Oh hey, I am going to stop being “blubbery” because I might die. I am suddenly “against eating”.

Obesity is worse enough but the words used to describe it (including the actual word Obese) are just plain rude. My favorite was a doctor I once went to in NYC — I was taking a physical for Chase Bank which at the time was Manufacturer’s Hanover.  The doctor wrote on the top of my medical form — “Morbidly Obese”.  Great not only am I obese but now I am morbid. How can a doctor stand right in front of a patient and write that at the top of his medical form.  I should have taken it away and wrote — “Oh yeah, well your SOUL looks EMPTY and you appear to be a bit LEAKY if you ask me!”

Have a great Optifast Week everyone!

  1. Evil mean spiteful word.

    I am so glad to be out of the category so that when I go to the doctor he will stop putting treatment for morbid obesity on the bill. 😀

  2. I agree. Although the label has been applied to me, I never labeled myself that way. Overweight is plenty descriptive. I think stocky and “heavy set” may also be OK. But obese has a very strong stigma associated with it, and really should find its way out of our vocabulary, IMO.

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