I would like to know where the expression "pitch a loaf" came from, what its origin is, and if people really use it nowadays.

I heard it in a movie, and I believe it means to go to the bathroom, by its context; it's just that I have ever in my life heard someone say that.

3 Answers 3


I think the phrase you're looking for is actually pinch a loaf. This forum discussed its origins, with one person writing:

Amazingly enough, none of my references give the history of "pinch a loaf." But I'm guessing that the process of kneading and shaping dough gave rise to the expression.

This slang dictionary supports your intuition about what it means:


to defecate.

He's in the bathroom pinching a loaf.

Another slang dictionary writes that the phrase is from 1994.

I have never, however, heard this phrase used. I'm an American English speaker, and at least in my experience this euphemism is not popular.


As none of the other answers posted has identified the probable country of origin of this expression, I note that Jonathon Green, Chambers Slang Dictionary (2008) has this brief entry for the phrase:

pinch a loaf v. {1990s+} (US) to defecate

And Tom Dalzell & Terry Victor, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2006) has this:

pinch a loaf to defecate US [Cited source:] Michael Dalton Johnson, Talking Trash with Redd Foxx, p. 44, 1994

This tends to confirm that there is no connection between the meaning in question and any sense along the lines of "steal bread," since "pinch" as slang for "steal" is primarily a British English slang usage. Without (I hope) plunging too graphically into the metaphor at work here, I think that the phrase uses "pinch" in the sense of "pinch off," with the sphincter as the pincher. I have never heard this expression used.

  • 1
    +1 I agree with your pincher thought. That’s how I’ve always understood it. I have heard it used- not often. But I might have guessed even earlier than the 90’s. At least early 80s if not 70s.
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 23:08
  • 1
    Green's Dictionary of Slang (online) doesn't make the connection, but he mentions 'pinch one off' (US, "to defecate") from 1941, then, through an apparent oversight, associates that with the Australian 'pinch it off!' ("hurry up!", also 1941), citing 'pinch it off!" as a figurative use of 'pinch one off'. I don't know where all that leads, if anywhere.
    – JEL
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 4:47

The expression means "to take a big crap". For example:

Man, after that McDonalds I need to pitch a loaf.

For the origin, The Phrase Finder forum says:

Amazingly enough, none of my references give the history of "pinch a loaf."


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