crumpet

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English[edit]

A buttered crumpet

Etymology[edit]

17th century, either from crompid cake (wafer, literally, curled-up cake), from crompid, form of crumpen (to curl up); cognate to crumpled. Alternate etymology is from Celtic; compare Breton krampouezh (crepe, pancake) and Welsh crempog (pancake).

Sense of “desirable woman” attested 1936, possibly as cockney rhyming slang for strumpet; alternatively, compare tart (loose woman, prostitute) (itself possibly cockney rhyming slang for heart or sweetheart). Note that muffin has a similar sense, and that, in 19th and early 20th centuries, "Muffins and crumpets" was a familiar street-cry in UK.

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Noun[edit]

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crumpet (plural crumpets)

  1. A type of savoury cake, typically flat and round, made from batter and yeast, containing many small holes and served toasted, usually with butter.
    • 1995, Ice-T, Jeff Kober & Reg E. Cathey as T-Saint, Deetee & Booger (respectively), Tank Girl, written by Tedi Sarafian:
      T-Saint: I say we kill 'em!
      Donner: I say we hump 'em.
      Booga: I say we eat crumpets and tea.
      Deetee: Tasty! Crumpets and tea. All in favor of crumpets and tea, say "I."
      All: I!
      T-Saint: Shut up! Ain't gonna be no crumpets and tea.
  2. (Britain, slang, uncountable) A person (or, collectively, persons), usually female, considered sexually desirable.
    Joan Bakewell was famously described as "the thinking man's crumpet".
    John and his mates have gone out to find themselves some crumpet.
    • 1969, Collins, Jackie, The Stud, reprint edition, Simon & Schuster, published 1999, ISBN 9780671028244, page 32:
      The regulars are all guys, a varied selection, my friends. There's Sammy—small, wiry, dark-haired. A hat manufacturer, crumpet mad—always chatting up different birds.
    • 2014 November 12, Hogan, Michael, “Have we reached peak Benedict Cumberbatch?”, in The Telegraph[1]:
      Our lives are saturated with middle-class crumpet Benedict Cumberbatch - but does he deserve the attention, asks Michael Hogan

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