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    #1

    sixpacks

    Can "six-packs" refer to the abdominal muscles as in "half-dressed male models with sixpacks"?
    Last edited by ostap77; 16-Feb-2011 at 13:03.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: sixpacks

    Yes. A 'sixpack' is - in actuality - a pack of six cans (usually of something to drink, connected at the top by a flexible piece of plastic). But it is used as a metaphor to refer to a well-defined set of rectus abdominis muscles (not everyone has a sixpack). I imagine a female figure could have a sixpack, but in the culture I'm used to it's quite rare (at least it's quite rare for a very fit woman to make a lot of this part of her anatomy).

    Etymological tangent: modern English is far from being the first to use a real-world image as the basis for a word that refers to a muscle. The word 'muscle' itself started life as a metaphor: musculus is, in Latin, a little mouse (which you can imagine crawling under a rug and giving the appearance of something moving under the surface.)

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 16-Feb-2011 at 18:06. Reason: Corrected typo: 'it IS used'

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    #3

    Re: sixpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Yes. A 'sixpack' is - in actuality - a pack of six cans (usually of something to drink, connected at the top by a flexible piece of plastic). But it is used as a metaphor to refer to a well-defined set of rectus abdominis muscles (not everyone has a sixpack). I imagine a female figure could have a sixpack, but in the culture I'm used to it's quite rare (at least it's quite rare for a very fit woman to make a lot of this part of her anatomy).

    Etymological tangent: modern English is far from being the first to use a real-world image as the basis for a word that refers to a muscle. The word 'muscle' itself started life as a metaphor: musculus is, in Latin, a little mouse (which you can imagine crawling under a rug and giving the appearance of something moving under the surface.)

    b
    Can I say "sixpack shaped abdominal muscles"?

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    #4

    Re: sixpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Can I say "sixpack shaped abdominal muscles"?
    I am not a teacher.

    No. It's slang (and not very good slang because it is seldom immediately clear that you don't mean a literal pack of six beverage cans). You don't explain slang.
    Lighten up on the sit-ups, Betsy---you're starting to get a six-pack.
    His six-pack was his pride and joy, him being the musclehead he was.

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    #5

    Re: sixpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    No. It's slang (and not very good slang because it is seldom immediately clear that you don't mean a literal pack of six beverage cans). You don't explain slang.
    Lighten up on the sit-ups, Betsy---you're starting to get a six-pack.
    His six-pack was his pride and joy, him being the musclehead he was.
    How about six-pack abs?

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    #6

    Re: sixpacks

    No. Read the last post. You don't explain slang. A teacher might want you to do this, to be sure that you know what it means; but it makes you sound like a foreign student. (Of course, I have nothing against foreign students; they keep me in business , but it's presumably not an effect you're aiming for.)

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    #7

    Re: sixpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    How about six-pack abs?
    You do hear that, but it sounds like a television commercial to me. I would call the whole thing either commercialese or bodybuilder's jargon. I would not say that this "six-pack" is in general use. There is a lot of slang surrounding muscle definition. You can be "ripped" or "shredded", too.

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    #8

    Re: sixpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolfootluke View Post
    You do hear that, but it sounds like a television commercial to me. I would call the whole thing either commercialese or bodybuilder's jargon. I would not say that this "six-pack" is in general use. There is a lot of slang surrounding muscle definition. You can be "ripped" or "shredded", too.
    Thanks. I was going to write that I saw it in a commercial, when your post popped up on the monitor. By the way, is it on a commercial or in a commercial?
    Last edited by ostap77; 18-Feb-2011 at 14:28.

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    #9

    Re: sixpacks

    I saw it ON television IN a commercial.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: sixpacks

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I saw it ON television IN a commercial.
    Why is "on" used when we talk about a series. "If you missed the last episode, here is what was happening on "The Shameless"?

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