stud muffin

Today’s Zippy, starring Mr. the Toad:

Here I’m focussing on the slang N + N compound stud muffin, which Toad has chosen to interpret parallel to blueberry muffin ‘muffin with blueberries in it’: stud ‘a large-headed piece of metal that pierces and projects from a surface, esp. for decoration’ (NOAD2) + muffin ‘small domed cake or quick bread’ = stud muffin ‘muffin with studs in it’.

But the customary sense of the compound involves different senses of each of the two components: U.S. slang stud ‘a sexually successful man’ (attested in Green’s Dictionary of Slang from the early 19th century) or ‘a man as a sexual performer’ (in Green from 1961 on) + muffin ‘an admirable person’ (U.S. campus slang from 1976 on) = stud muffin  (or stud-muffin or studmuffin) ‘an exceptionally successful and attractive person’ (campus slang, in Green from 1989 on), in my experience usually a man.

So in the Toad usage, the relationship of the two parts of the compound is containment in, while in the current slang usage it’s joint predication (a stud muffin is a muffin who’s a stud).

I think I’ll pass on the Toad stud muffins, thank you.



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