SPY magazine once spent several issues back in the 1980s trying to puzzle out the sudden and inexplicable rash of usages of the word "nubbins" by food critics. This led to a lengthy and ultimately unresolved debate over what exactly a "nubbin" is.

My sources suggest that nubbin refers to something that is uncharacteristially stunted, undeveloped, or imperfect.

It also has a less pejorative meaning: a small projecting part or bit. It is, I'm hopeful, in this second sense that it is sometimes used as a euphemism for clitoris.

Nub"bin (?), n.

A small or imperfect ear of maize.

[Colloq. U. S.]


© Webster 1913.

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