In Italian the term "tartaruga" (turtle) is used also to refer to well defined abdominal muscles on the notion that they look like a turtle shell:

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Is there a slang/colloquial term or short phrase to refer to "defined addominal muscles" in AmE or BrE?

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    Hi Josh - just a curiosity - you appear to write flawless idiomatic English (I've always assumed it's your mother tongue), it's surprising you haven't heard "six-pack"? It's pretty common.
    – Fattie
    Jun 11, 2016 at 13:21
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    Just for anyone googling here, there is another very common Americanism (or American politicalism) "Joe six-pack". The two are totally unrelated. "Joe six-pack" simply means "the typical working-class guy" and has no relationship to the bodybuilding slang.
    – Fattie
    Jun 11, 2016 at 13:30
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    @Joe yes, that six pack is beer, not abs. Jun 11, 2016 at 16:30
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    I always thought "Joe six-pack" referred to the belief that alcohol was one of the five essential human food groups - the other four being salt, sugar, caffeine, and fat.
    – alephzero
    Jun 11, 2016 at 18:01
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    Joe Six-Pack is a member of the working class who likes beer. Six-pack abs are what OP is talking about. Having a six-pack usually means literally having a package of 6 beers. I am using American English.
    – Maverick
    Jun 12, 2016 at 0:33

3 Answers 3


You can say that somebody has a six pack.

informal - A man’s set of visibly well-developed abdominal muscles.

Or perhaps even an eight pack.

You can also say that someone has washboard abs or a washboard stomach, although commentators on this answer suggest that this is used more in fitness circles to describe a flatter, less "ripped" set of abs than those in your picture:

[AS MODIFIER] Denoting a man’s stomach that is lean and has well-defined muscles:

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    I'm a fighter, trainer and bodybuilder. And with all respect, I'd like to tell you that washboard abs is an insult to the guy in the picture. Washboard abs are flat and people who possess those are way weaker than people with ripped abs.
    – vickyace
    Jun 11, 2016 at 10:00
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    Perhaps but the term is still used in that context. I agree that I'd prefer ripped abs to a washboard stomach but I'm only answering what I believe to be true and I offer the answer as an addition, not competition, to your own answer.
    – Ste
    Jun 11, 2016 at 10:02
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    @Ste We are here to improve not compete. You are right that they are similar in dictionary definition but are not in reality. Washboard abs are flat and usually possessed by the likes of jennifer lopez, shakira, that twilight guys. ripped abs are possessed by people like Rob Riches, terry crews, the 300 movie guys, and even girls like andrea cadavid, michelle lewin, anlela segra and others. (sorry for late reply, Internet is unreliable in India)
    – vickyace
    Jun 11, 2016 at 10:20
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    @vickyace I'll bow to your superior knowledge about fitness and our discussion remains here for posterity. I have definitely heard the term "washboard" used outside of fitness circles to describe a six pack. :)
    – Ste
    Jun 11, 2016 at 10:22
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    say @vickyace - you know, it's true that experts would make the distinction between washboard abs, and a six-pack. but it would be common for "civilians" to simply use the term "washboard abs" to mean "any pretty good stomach", i.e., not the usual 50 pounds of overweight. in any event, "six-pack" is the exact answer here to the "turtle" equivalent.
    – Fattie
    Jun 11, 2016 at 13:23

Try ripped abs


having high muscle definition


You could also say: shredded abs.


2 informal Having well-defined or well-developed muscles; muscular


a step-by-step plan that will help you achieve shredded abs in as little as 76 workouts

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