7 Different Ways to Say the Term “Pregnant”

Image via Flickr/adapted from harinaivoteza

Post originally ran August 2013

I am finally starting to hit that point in my pregnancy where I look more pregnant and less “just bloated.” In my previous pregnancies, I started showing nearly a month earlier than this one; and now that I am at the half-way mark, it's starting to get a little more noticeable to family and strangers. 

There are so many different terms for when a woman is pregnant. I, myself, like to say I am “gestating,” or refer to my growing baby as my “uterine inhabitant.” 

I think I am still at that point where, hopefully, strangers don't come up and ask me if I am pregnant. I don't think that's an appropriate question for strangers to ask unless a woman is in full-on labor; but people seem to say the strangest things. Once, I was out with my two kids, pregnant with number three, and a woman I had never met before asked me if I “was knocked up.” I mean, I was – and it was pretty darn obvious – but I was taken aback by why she chose the term she did.

There are far more classic phrases many people tend to use when it comes to the word “pregnant,” and so I asked a bunch of my online friends to share the term they tend to use most often. Like I said, I like to use more funny terms, but personally hate the phases, “preggo,” “knocked up,” and “with child.”  I've compiled the phrases or words that other people tend to use themselves, and which ones they also can't stand. 

Up the Duff

“My Co-worker always says ‘up the duff.' I don't particularly like it, I just think it's funny.” — Tessa

Knocked Up

“I'm a huge fan of saying ‘knocked up' for my own situation. Mostly just because of the irony. Knocked up is usually used when referencing unplanned pregnancies, and – well – nothing is unplanned about planning an IVF pregnancy.” — Aela

Maternal Condition

“My writing buddy is expecting her first and she calls it ‘manufacturing a human.' There is also in the family way, with child, gestating, baking the bun, and having ‘a maternal condition.'” — Kelly



“I use ‘knocked up' when having a light-hearted conversation. I also use ‘preggers' a lot in that context. And either ‘pregnant' or ‘expecting' when talking in more serious or formal situations. Others I don't use so much myself, but throwing out there … preggie (I have been using this one for one pregnant lady in my life because it rhymes with her name), with child, expectant, and carrying his child.” — Kristine

Bun in the Oven

“‘Bun in the oven' – not my favorite! ‘In the motherly way,' a little better.” — Aimee

{ MORE: 5 Fall-Themed Ways to Announce that You're Pregnant }


“I tend to stick to ‘pregnant.' I have no issues with other terms, except for ‘knocked up.' That just sounds so sexist to me.”  — Robin


“I used ‘expecting' 90% of the time unless I was in an ugly mood; then it was ‘knocked up.'” — Jamie

:: What is your favorite term or word to use for “pregnant”? ::

MORE: Getting Kids Ready for Another Sibling}

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7 Different Ways to Say the Term “Pregnant”

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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  1. Caroline says:

    I once jokingly said to my boyfriend, “I’m pregnant with your spawn”.

  2. MadXanSi says:

    I always preferred to tell people “God and I are creating a life.” Sounds so official, lol.

  3. Destiny says:

    I don’t like ‘knocked up’ at all, it sounds derogatory.

  4. Alanna says:

    They just sound a little silly.

  5. Esme says:

    I say, ” I am with child”

  6. Josephine says:

    I usually say expecting, pregnant, or preggers. My husband usually says that “She’s in a motherly way” when telling people I am expecting

  7. Brittany says:

    I have just been saying “pregnant” and I have jokingly said I was “with child”

  8. folahanmi says:

    This our first baby. I prefer pregnant or expecting not preggo or family way. Preggo sounds like pasta sauce to me n family way just sounds emotionally detached to me.

  9. I’ve always said pregnant and nothing else

  10. Rachel says:

    With my daughter-in-law and niece, I tell them they are “infanticipating” and preggy. But I love the infanticipating most because that is what we are doing- anticipating the coming of the infant

  11. Alison says:

    You left out ‘gravid state’.y

  12. aniem says:

    iv always been a pretty chill person so its what ever unless some one says hey preggo! it sounds like their calling me a wretched jar of pasta sause!!

  13. Eleni says:

    “My eggo is preggo!” It just made me smile every time I said it lol.

  14. Bobbi says:

    I say “i’m incubating” when in just normal conversation with people I know, otherwise its”i’m pregnant” and I always say it with a little bit of embarrassment, i’m not sure why.

  15. Shannon says:

    My SO’s father used the phrase “in the family way” but I use “expecting” or “pregnant”.

  16. If I’m at work (I’m a fitness coach) and a client asks if I’m pregnant (I’m 30 weeks) I just tell her “no, I just really let myself go after the wedding” or “well I haven’t been working out quite as much as I should”. I definitely hate the terms knocked up and preggers, but will call myself prego in casual talk or typing.

  17. Stacy says:

    Most of the time I say pregnant, except when I’m not feeling particularly well. Then I claim to have a parasite, in a loving way of course. 😉

  18. gabriela says:

    well since im 15 i hate it when at school they say im “prego” or “knocked up” i hate those term to me it sound straight out rude so when i talk to my friend we either call it that im going through a emotional state or a say preggers … also around the house since i live with my fiance and his parents when they bring me food or stuff they say call it preggers stuff haha it kinda became a nickname that i actually really like ^^

  19. bttrfli516 says:

    I’ve been saying “preggie”, but when speaking more formally, I just say “we are expecting our first child”. I definitely dislike knocked up & preggo! lol

  20. Christina says:

    I like the word “preggie” I use that a lot. I don’t really like the other names too much.

  21. tessa says:

    I don’t particularly like the word ‘pregnant’. It sounds so involved. I use ‘knocked up’ when i’m poking fun at someone. My family usually uses ‘with child’. I also like ‘expecting’.

  22. Trina says:

    YAY! I’m Watermelloned!! 😉

  23. nursgirl says:

    I prefer to use the term “baby farming”…

  24. I don’t understand the “in the way” or “in the motherly way”? Is the kid in the way??? I not really bothered by any. N used a lot of them.

  25. Crystal says:

    I normally just say I’m pregnant.


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