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A buttered crumpet


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.


  • krŭm'pĭt,
  • IPA(key): /ˈkɹʌmpɪt/
  • (file)


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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.
  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.

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