One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Accumulation of large amounts of fat on the buttocks, especially as a normal condition in the Khoikhoi and other peoples of arid parts of southern Africa.
- ‘What seems certain is that steatopygia in both sexes was fairly widespread among the early races of man.’
- ‘The steatopygia was seen as a pronounced, localized accumulation of fat or fatty-fibrous tissue on the upper part of the buttocks.’
- ‘Why is steatopygia absent among, for example, hunting-gathering Australian aborigines?’
- ‘The word steatopygia comes from the vocabulary of an early pseudoscience which aimed to prove the superiority of the white race.’
- ‘Some scholars believe that a big bottom is a natural adaptation for survival, and that steatopygia was advantageous in the unpredictable African tropical environment.’
- ‘Rather than relying on official scientific publications, however, Cuvier relied on travelers' accounts of the apron and the steatopygia.’
Early 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek stear, steat- ‘tallow’ + pugē ‘rump’.
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