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meaning of doughboy



 
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meaning of doughboy #1 (permalink) Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:23 am   meaning of doughboy
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #284 "English Slang Idioms (6)", question 7

"I used to be kind of a ......... when I was little but I lost most of the weight in my teenage years."

(a) runt
(b) beanpole
(c) doughboy
(d) punk

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #284 "English Slang Idioms (6)", answer 7

"I used to be kind of a doughboy when I was little but I lost most of the weight in my teenage years."

Correct answer: (c) doughboy
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From the sentence, I thought being a doughboy meant being fat. However, when I tried to confirm, several dictionaries say 'an American infantryman especially in World War I'.

Priya Raghavan
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meaning of doughboy #2 (permalink) Wed Jul 02, 2008 21:40 pm   meaning of doughboy
 

Hi Priya,
In this case, it means 'fat or overweight.' Sometimes, terms (in the civilian world) overlap into military terms and the meanings may be different. In addition, sometimes, military terms are only used in military contexts and are not understood by civilians. In this sentence, the meaning is "fat or overweight" and that is used outside of military life.
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meaning of doughboy #3 (permalink) Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:46 am   meaning of doughboy
 

Hi Priya,

As Linda mentioned, there are multiple meanings that sometimes overlap. In my opinion, the use of 'doughboy' in military terms has somewhat died out. I think you'll only hear it used as a term for a soldier when referencing to military matters of that era.

I would suggest that the more modern usage of 'doughboy' (i.e. a fat or plump person) stems from pop culture. The Pillsbury doughboy is a rather portly/plump icon or mascot used in commercials for many of Pillsbury's baking products. His actual name is Pop 'n Fresh, and he looks like so:



Usually in the commercials, after Pop 'n Fresh has shown what a delicious baked good you too could easily make, a person's hand enters the screen and gently pokes his belly, causing him to issue a high-pitched giggly "tee-hee".
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