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Different Terms for the Word 'Pregnant'

Image via Flickr/adapted from harinaivoteza

Post originally ran August 2013

I am finally starting to hit that point in my pregnancy where I look more pregnant and less “just bloated.” In my previous pregnancies, I started showing nearly a month earlier than this one; and now that I am at the half-way mark, it’s starting to get a little more noticeable to family and strangers. 

There are so many different terms for when a woman is pregnant. I, myself, like to say I am “gestating,” or refer to my growing baby as my “uterine inhabitant.” 

I think I am still at that point where, hopefully, strangers don’t come up and ask me if I am pregnant. I don’t think that’s an appropriate question for strangers to ask unless a woman is in full-on labor; but people seem to say the strangest things. Once, I was out with my two kids, pregnant with number three, and a woman I had never met before asked me if I “was knocked up.” I mean, I was – and it was pretty darn obvious – but I was taken aback by why she chose the term she did.

There are far more classic phrases many people tend to use when it comes to the word “pregnant,” and so I asked a bunch of my online friends to share the term they tend to use most often. Like I said, I like to use more funny terms, but personally hate the phases, “preggo,” “knocked up,” and “with child.”  I’ve compiled the phrases or words that other people tend to use themselves, and which ones they also can’t stand. 

Up the Duff

“My Co-worker always says ‘up the duff.’ I don’t particularly like it, I just think it’s funny.” — Tessa

Knocked Up

“I’m a huge fan of saying ‘knocked up’ for my own situation. Mostly just because of the irony. Knocked up is usually used when referencing unplanned pregnancies, and – well – nothing is unplanned about planning an IVF pregnancy.” — Aela

Maternal Condition

“My writing buddy is expecting her first and she calls it ‘manufacturing a human.’ There is also in the family way, with child, gestating, baking the bun, and having ‘a maternal condition.’” — Kelly


“I use ‘knocked up’ when having a light-hearted conversation. I also use ‘preggers’ a lot in that context. And either ‘pregnant’ or ‘expecting’ when talking in more serious or formal situations. Others I don’t use so much myself, but throwing out there … preggie (I have been using this one for one pregnant lady in my life because it rhymes with her name), with child, expectant, and carrying his child.” — Kristine

Bun in the Oven

“‘Bun in the oven’ – not my favorite! ‘In the motherly way,’ a little better.” — Aimee

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“I tend to stick to ‘pregnant.’ I have no issues with other terms, except for ‘knocked up.’ That just sounds so sexist to me.”  — Robin


“I used ‘expecting’ 90% of the time unless I was in an ugly mood; then it was ‘knocked up.’” — Jamie

:: What is your favorite term or word to use for “pregnant”? ::

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7 Different Ways to Say the Term “Pregnant”

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