I can't find any good English adjective for the stomach of a pregnant woman. For example, how does one say this naturally:

"Her belly looks bigger than a month ago. I guess she is expecting soon."

  • 1
    Is there some reason you think your suggested phrasing is wrong? What is it?
    – DCShannon
    Dec 31, 2014 at 23:06

6 Answers 6


"She's showing more than a month ago. I guess she's expecting soon."

In this sense, "showing" means "obviously appears pregnant". It is a verb, not an adjective. To a person who knows what to look for, most pregnant women start "showing" when their pregnancy is "about four months along".

This sense of "showing" does not combine with adverbs to form "phrasal verbs". For example, "showing up" and "showing off" use different meaning(s) of "showing".

  • 2
    For reference: Definition 2.3, verb, from this entry on show ("be visibly pregnant")
    – apsillers
    Dec 31, 2014 at 20:30
  • A woman can be pregnant and can be showing. But a woman's "belly" cannot be pregnant, nor does it 'show'. So far no one has answered the user's question, which asks about the "belly."
    – user6951
    Dec 31, 2014 at 22:50
  • A very good answer +1 for letting me know 'showing' in this sense.
    – Maulik V
    Jan 1, 2015 at 5:27

The way you've phrased the statement in your question is just fine.

If you're talking directly to the woman, and she's rather sensitive, then it's just possible that she may be slightly offended by the idea of a 'bigger belly'.

  • 1
    +1 This is the only answer that talks about the stomach or belly, which is what the question asks about. I can't think of a better adjective, except maybe 'awesome'. Certainly not 'distended'!
    – user6951
    Dec 31, 2014 at 23:12

First, you should know that 'belly' is not a word to use thoughtlessly. It is in a register that is appropriate to refer to animals or young children. With adults, it is dubious unless you are talking in an intimate circle. Yes, the tabloid press loves 'baby belly', but that doesn't mean you can use it anywhere.

You don't tell us your relationship to the subject of your remark or the person you are speaking to. If you are talking to your wife about your sister, it's very different than if you are talking to your manager about your co-worker.

In the US, at least, it's considered quite rude to speculate about pregnancy or comment on a swelling abdomen until the owner of that abdomen announces her status.

A more neutral remark might be, 'She looks to me as if she is expecting.' That can still get you into hot water, but not as hot as some of the alternatives.

A short answer; there is no English word that neutrally serves the purpose you want in a common conversational register.


Expecting is the same as pregnant. She wouldn't be expecting soon, she is expecting now. You should say due if you mean giving birth. She looks larger than a month ago. I guess she is due soon.


The correct medical term is gravid, e.g.

Carrying developing young or eggs

So the usage would be,,,

"the patient is a gravid woman in her seventh month"

  • 4
    Gravid wouldn't be used in the context from the question though. It would typically be used in a medical or scientific setting.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 31, 2014 at 22:36
  • @ColleenV Exactly
    – user6951
    Dec 31, 2014 at 23:35

You are blooming, aren't you!?

I'm American, a native English speaker and have lived on the East coast, West coast, Midwest U.S.A., in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Communication always runs the risk of offending so any comments about pregnancy would need to fit the occasion. In the M.E. you wouldn't look at another man's wife, much less comment on pregnancy. To someone with whom you have a professional interest, I would skip mentioning the 'belly' and ask, "When are you due?". Even this may be risky if they're a stranger as they may simply be overweight. My use of 'blooming' would be for a friend with a creative mind and a sense of humor that understands that women may be associated with flowers. For all the rest, best to smile and comment on the weather.

  • 4
    Welcome to ELL. Can you provide a reference or a geographical region where this wording is used? I have never heard it before (West Coast U.S.) and I suspect someone women would find it offensive.
    – Adam
    Dec 31, 2014 at 23:20
  • In my experience, when people use bloom in the context of pregnancy, it's nearly always an allusion to the "healthy bloom" of clear skin (usually on the face) caused by the hormonal changes that often make this quite noticeable. I must have heard/used it hundreds of times over the years, but until reading this answer it would never have occurred to me to see a more "literal" allusion to the fact that flower buds swell as they blossom out. Jan 3, 2015 at 17:26

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