Broad in the beam


      • heavy or overweight
        Describing a person who is carrying excess weight, often in a lighthearted or humorous manner

      • having wide hips or buttocks
        Referring to a person's physical proportions, specifically in the lower body, which may be perceived as wider than average

      • having a large or prominent rear end
        Playfully teasing someone about their ample buttocks, typically in a good-natured and affectionate way

    Examples of Broad in the beam

    • The ship was broad in the beam as it passed through the narrow canal.

      In this example, "broad in the beam" is used to describe how wide the ship seemed as it moved through the narrow canal. When a ship is broad in the beam, it means that it is particularly wide in the middle sections (i.e. The sides). In this case, the ship's broadness caused it to take up a lot of space as it passed through the narrow canal.

    • The audience was broad in the beam when they saw the famous singer perform live.

      Here, "broad in the beam" is used to describe how impressive or captivating something or someone is. In this case, the singer's performance was so engaging and mesmerizing that the audience was completely focused on them. This is often described as being "broad in the beam" because, just as a bright light can be seen from a distance because it is so focused, the singer's performance captured the audience's attention in the same way.

    • The car was broad in the beam as it raced down the highway, leaving other vehicles in its wake.

      In this example, "broad in the beam" is being used to describe the car's size and speed. By being broad in the beam, the car is essentially filling up a lot of space as it moves down the highway. This is often associated with fast vehicles like race cars or sports cars, as their broad width helps them to maneuver through corners more easily and with greater stability.

    • The new book was broad in the beam, providing a wealth of information and insights into the subject matter.

      Finally, "broad in the beam" can also describe the content of a book, article, or other written work. In this case, the book is full of information and ideas, providing a broad and wide-ranging viewpoint or perspective. This can also be seen as a positive description, as broadness can sometimes imply depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as a variety of ideas or viewpoints. However, it should be noted that some people may find a book or piece of writing that is too broad in its scope to be overwhelming or disorganized, as it may lack focus or clarity. Broadness should be used judiciously to ensure that the content remains clear and concise, while still providing a wide range of information.


    The idiom "broad in the beam" has multiple meanings related to a person's physical appearance, specifically their weight and proportions. It can be used to describe someone who is heavy or overweight, has wide hips or buttocks, or a large and prominent rear end. In each case, the intention is to refer to a person's physical appearance in a playful or humorous manner.

    Origin of "Broad in the beam"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the nautical world. A ship's beam is the width of its widest part, making it an important aspect of its stability. In the 17th and 18th centuries, ships were often described as "broad in the beam" if they were particularly wide and stable.

    Over time, this phrase began to be used to describe people who were also wide or heavy in a lighthearted way. It is believed that this usage originated in British naval slang and eventually became a common expression in everyday language.

    Today, "broad in the beam" is often used as a humorous way to refer to someone's weight or physical proportions without being too direct or offensive. It is a playful and affectionate term that is often used between friends or family members.