My definition is this

I’ve never been completely sure about the word “pregnant”. It conjures up the idea of impregnation, which is rather biological for me (in my head it is associated with words like insemination, which quite frankly I could do without thinking about too closely).

My favourite substitute is probably “expecting”, especially when with Mr Cath – “we’re expecting” just sounds so much more warm and positive than “I’m pregnant”. It was a team effort after all and we will be equal as parents, despite the fact I’m the one to have carried our baby around for nearly nine months now.

But what other terms are there for my current state? It’s a bit late now as my condition is so obvious, but I decided to investigate a few other labels a pregnant lady can describe herself with:

1. Preggers

I find this a bit too slang and while it’s somehow ok to gossip about someone being preggers in the third person (e.g. “do you think she’s preggers?”) I wouldn’t use it to describe myself – it’s too flippant a word for something so special!


2. (Great) with child

Rather Immaculate Conception. I suppose it could be used ironically.


3. Gravid

This sounds even more scientific than “inseminated”. Since it is mostly used when referring to a member of the fish kingdom when they are carrying eggs, I feel it is inappropriate to refer to a pregnant human with this term (unless it is ironic…) as you are effectively comparing a baby with caviar.

caviar4. In the family way

I’m not sure how politically correct this one is these days, seeing as you don’t have to fall pregnant to start a family…

family way

5. Knocked up

Apart from being the title of a dire film, has anyone ever noticed the violent connotations of this one? To “knock” is to strike something hard (e.g. you knock on a door). No no no!

knocked up

6. Up the duff

This was originally an Australian phrase and is more associated with unplanned pregnancies. The Urban Dictionary also lists the meaning as “an expression of great misfortune” – e.g. “When they find all the coke in Mark’s desk, he’s gonna be sooooo up the duff!”


Final thoughts

In conclusion, I’m going to stick with referring to myself as “expecting” or “pregnant” – there really aren’t any more realistic options out there. Fortunately at the moment I don’t have to worry about words very much anyway… I can just use the universal sign language of pointing out my enormous belly!

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