5

Being "in the pudding club" seems to mean "being pregnant" in British English.

What is the origin/etymology of this phrase? Where is it used nowadays?

  • 1
    What's with food and children? Another colloquial way (US only?) to say that someone is pregnant is "to have a bun in the oven." – gbutters May 16 '11 at 22:19
2

Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English gives this entry:

pudding club, put in the. To render pregnant: low: late C. 19-20. James Curtis, The Gilt Kid, 1936. See also pudding, with a bellyful of marrow.

pudding, with a bellyful of marrow- : in the pudding club. Pregnant: low : C. 19-20; ob. Cf. pudding, n., 2. The latter, esp. as put in the pudden club, to render pregnant, is still current : witness James Curtis, The Gilt Kid, 1936.

That entry (interior emphasis my own) leads us to pudding, entry 2:

pudding 2 n. Coïtion; the penis; the seminal fluid: low coll.: from Restoration days. Wit and Mirth, 1682

So it comes from pudding in the sexual, coital sense given above.

  • Thanks for providing the etymology. Can you tell, where this phrase is used nowadays (Region, social class)? – mbx May 16 '11 at 9:28
1

I can't tell you whether it's used today, but it was still current in 1976. I'm watching a rerun of a British sitcom (originally aired in May 1976) in which the phrase was used; the character who used it, and the two who understood it, are urban (London), are lower-middle class economically, and are middle-class in outlook (they value outward respectability and the upholding of middle-class social norms).

1

In the 1828 AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE you can read definitions for pudding: "what bulges out, a paunch." So a pregnant woman had a "bulge" for her tummy same as a "paunch."

I was just watching "Last Tango in Halifax," a British sitcom, and the phrase "he put her in the pudding club" was used as it if was commonly understood.

1

It wasn't merely a sexual reference; more of a play on words since there used to be (and still are in a few places) Christmas clubs, in which everyone paid a small amount each week and received a hamper at Christmas, and bottle clubs, in which the reward for your subscription was a bottle of whisky. So presumably the lady in question had received a package as a result of her efforts...

And the shortened version, in the club, is still used in Britain (or in London, at least). I would advise caution, since it is very colloquial bordering on the vulgar; but I would think it would be understood everywhere.

1

“The Hasty Pudding Club” was also a social club at Harvard. According to the Wikipedia page, the (social) club was founded in 1795.

0

I assume that "pudding" comes from the French "boudin". "Boudin noir" is the French for black pudding (there's also "boudin blanc" for Weisswurst). Pudding therefore means "sausage" - hence the seventeenth-century meaning of "penis"

  • 1
    Welcome to EL&U. Answers on StackExchange are expected to be authoritative in and of themselves; can you provide a reference, examples, or at least a more detailed description? Otherwise, this answer may be downvoted or deleted as personal conjecture. – choster Jan 30 '15 at 20:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.