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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).

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).


  • krŭm'pĭt,
  • IPA(key): /ˈkrʌmpɪt/
  • (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. (UK, slang, uncountable) A person (or, collectively, persons) 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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