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.
- 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, Tedi Sarafian, Tank Girl, spoken by T-Saint, Deetee & Booger (respectively) (Ice-T, Jeff Kober & Reg E. Cathey):
- 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."
T-Saint: Shut up! Ain't gonna be no crumpets and tea.
- (Britain, slang, countable, 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.
- 2014 November 12, Hogan, Michael, “Have we reached peak Benedict Cumberbatch?”, in The Telegraph:
- Our lives are saturated with middle-class crumpet Benedict Cumberbatch - but does he deserve the attention, asks Michael Hogan
- (sexually desirable person): See Thesaurus:beautiful person