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An illustration of a steatopygous San woman[n 1]

From steatopyga, steatopygia +‎ -ous. Steatopyga is borrowed from New Latin steatopyga, from Ancient Greek στέᾱτος (stéātos) (genitive singular of στέαρ (stéar, hard fat, suet, tallow)) + πῡγή (pūgḗ, buttocks, rump).[1]


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌstɪ.əˈtɒ.pɪ.ɡəs/, /ˌstɪ.ə.tə(ʊ)ˈpaɪ.ɡəs/
    • (file)
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˌstɪ.əˈtɑ.pɪ.ɡəs/, /ˌstɪ.ə.to(ʊ)ˈpaɪ.ɡəs/
  • Hyphenation: ste‧a‧to‧pyg‧ous


steatopygous (comparative more steatopygous, superlative most steatopygous)

  1. (physiology) Pertaining to steatopygia; having fat or prominent buttocks.
    • 1837, James Cowles Prichard, Researches into the Physical History of Mankind, 3rd edition, volume II, London: Sherwood, Gilbert, and Piper, []; and J. and A. Arch, [], →OCLC, section I, page 339:
      [W]e may refer to some unknown condition of climate, the steatopygous deformities of the Bushmen. As these remarkable depositions of fat are not the peculiarity of one tribe, namely the Saabs, [...] we have no room for doubt that the cause of the phenomenon is some influence connected with climate and situation.
    • 1855, Richard F[rancis] Burton, “The Nile Steam Boat”, in Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah. [...] In Three Volumes, volume I (El-Misr), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, →OCLC, page 87:
      Living in rooms opposite these slave girls, and seeing them at all hours of the day and night, I had frequent opportunities of studying them. They were average specimens of the steatopygous Abyssinian breed, broad-shouldered, thin-flanked, fine-limbed, and with haunches of prodigious size.
    • 1963, Anthony Burgess, chapter 2, in Inside Mr. Enderby, London: Heinemann, →OCLC; republished as Enderby, New York, N.Y.: Ballantine Books, September 1969 (March 1973 printing), →OCLC, book II, section 4, page 160:
      Perhaps, he now felt, if this body he held could become—just for twenty or thirty seconds—one of those harem dreams of his, pampered, pouting, perfumed, steatopygous, he could, he was sure, achieve what it was a plain duty, apart from all questions of gratification, to achieve.
    • 1981, T[homas] Coraghessan Boyle, “Niger Redux”, in Water Music, Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, →ISBN; republished London: Granta Books, 1998, →ISBN, page 341:
      At his side, Amuta and a steatopygous twelve-year-old in a striped shift.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 144:
      And finally there is the old crone of death, the steatopygous figure with pointed feet, that goes all the way back to the Paleolithic settlement of Dolne Vestonice.


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  1. ^ From [Louis-Joseph] A[lcide] Railliet (1895) Traité de zoologie médicale et agricole [Treatise of Medical and Agricultural Zoology], Paris: Asselin et Houzeau, →OCLC, page 1244.


  1. ^ steatopyga, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1916; steatopygia”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

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