Monday, 23 December 2013

Callipygian - Nice Bum's the Word

Nice buttocks, Posterior, Ass, Arse,
Photo (still) by Mislav Marohnic. Or is it? Yes it is.


Adjective. Late 18th century.
[from Greek kallipugos (epithet of the statue of Venus),
from kalli-, kallos beauty + puge buttocks: see -IAN.]

Pertaining to or having well-shaped buttocks.

callipygous adjective E20

What? More buttocks? And the same buttocks? Well, yes, they are the same buttocks from when I wrote about buttocks before, although with some crafty photoediting, I have changed it just enough that the average person won't realise it's the same picture. Go on - check; it's particularly gratifying if you quickly flick back and forth between the posts. Anyway, why have I used the same picture to illustrate callipygian? Well it is, first and foremost, a photo of a particularly callipygous pair of glutes, but secondly, do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a tasteful, not-overtly-sexualised, un-weird picture of a bottom? One that's suitable for Lexicolatry's high standards of taste and decorum? I'll tell you: it's very difficult indeed.

And callipygian is such a wonderful word - so classical and cultivated - that Lexicolatry could not possibly pass it by. Most early references to callipygian relate to the famous statue Venus Callipyge which, unsurprisingly, has a most callipygian (and emphasised) posterior itself. And, just like those Rumpy Romans and Gluteus Greeks, as we're still in the habit of commenting on and lauding people's callipygous qualities (J-Lo's bingo call springs firmly to mind), then we should at least have a good word for doing so. If we are going to do that. And I'm not saying that we should. Or that I do. Anyway ...

Are you callipygian?

Are J-Lo and Kylie truly worthy of their callipygous accolades?

Do please leave your most well-rounded, firmly-constructed thoughts below.


  1. This is a delightful word indeed.

    And I feel somehow obliged to report that my first reaction to opening this post was "hey...I've seen that bum somewhere before!"

    Well played, Lexicolatry. Well played.