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Why is a good-looking or sexually attractive person called a 'snack'?

Young people often use it this way, and it's a sense listed in some dictionaries.

a sexually attractive person.
"it's clear from the pics that her new husband is a total snack"
[Oxford Languages]

(This funny video from Lily Singh (time 1:25) is where I first encountered the word used in that sense.)

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    Can you give an example of use? Jul 26, 2023 at 2:35
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    I've never heard this usage in the US Midwest.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 26, 2023 at 3:09
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    It's a metaphor, food ~ romance. See the more more obscure What does it mean to call someone a 'drink of water' .
    – Mitch
    Jul 26, 2023 at 16:19
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    @DJClayworth I just added a video example
    – Alireza
    Jul 26, 2023 at 16:39
  • I hope it's not too inappropriate to mention it here, but oral sex is a thing. So the fact that sexual attractiveness invokes the image of eating with your mouth is perfectly reasonable. Jul 26, 2023 at 17:34

1 Answer 1

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I've heard a bunch of taste-related words (scrumptious, delicious, yummmy etc.) used informally to describe someone who's attractive, so it seems that people often slangily associate foodstuffs with sex appeal.

Dictionary.com has an entry for the slang word snacc, and in the etymology, they explain when the original term began to get repurposed:

In the 2000s, snack emerges as slang for an attractive person (i.e., someone who looks sexy enough to scarf down like a snack). This sense of snack is recorded on Urban Dictionary and found on Twitter by 2009.

It's not too complicated as far as etymologies go. As an eloquent Redditer put it, "snacks are yummy. the person looks yummy."

The same idea is expressed in a little more detail on slang.net:

A snack is a person who looks attractive, almost tasty, which makes you want to eat [them] up, much like an actual snack.

Doesn't take a frog to make the leap between the two ideas.

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    Yes, +1, and if you want a noun also used in the same way, "dish" is fairly common. (M-W: "an attractive or sexy person") Jul 26, 2023 at 2:49
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    "Dish" has been a fairly common US term for an attractive female for at least 50 years.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 26, 2023 at 3:11
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    Note also snackbar (n.) (US campus) a girl- or boyfriend. - 1996 [US] Eble Sl. and Sociability 70: A ‘girlfriend or boyfriend’ was a snackbar, and go for sushi meant ‘kiss passionately’.
    – Gio
    Jul 26, 2023 at 7:58
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    .... Eye candy. Jul 26, 2023 at 11:12
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    I wonder about that spelling, snacc. And this: "It’s also internet slang used when cute animals are seeking or enjoying a snack". How embarrassingly dumb. :)
    – Lambie
    Jul 26, 2023 at 13:48

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