Bun in the Oven - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you pregnant? Then you have a “bun in the oven.” It’s a common idiom still in use today, and it’s a common phrase used by men and women to describe pregnancy. A bun in the oven is a lighthearted phrase, usually said between friends and family.

A bun in the oven” is an old idiom, in use since the 17th century, with the bun describing the baby and the oven being the woman’s womb.

Let’s look at the origins and meaning of the idiom and how you can use it in a sentence.

Bun in the Oven Meaning

If you’re expecting a child, it means you’re pregnant. Having a “bun in the oven” is a way of describing pregnancy between friends. You can direct the phrase directly at the person or use it when talking about someone else’s pregnancy to a friend or family member.

Bun in the Oven Example Usage

When you’re using the idiom “a bun in the oven,” you’re talking about someone being pregnant. Some of the common ways to use the phrase might be the following.

  • Susan has a “bun in the oven,” and she’s expecting the child in two months.
  • Richard and Angela just got married because she has a “bun in the oven.”
  • I have a “bun in the oven”, and the OBGYN says that I’m eight weeks into the pregnancy.

Bun in the Oven Origin

A “bun in the ovenoriginates in the 17th century, where the bun is the child, and the oven is the woman’s womb.

The idiom comes straight out of the kitchen. A loaf of bread, or bun, rises as it bakes, forming a top over the tray and a distended look. The same applies to the growing size of the woman expecting the child. The phrase is still popular today, mainly in the UK.

Phrases Similar to Bun in the Oven

Here are some other idioms and phrases with a similar meaning to “bun in the oven.”

  • “In the family way.”
  • “She’s looking big as a house.”
  • “She’s ready to pop.”
  • “In the pudding club.”
  • “She’s eating for two.”
  • “Someone knocked her up.”
  • “She’s in a delicate position.”
  • “She’s got a joey in the pouch.”
  • “She’s bursting with life.”

Phrases Opposite to Bun in the Oven

The following are opposite idioms or phrases to “bun in the oven.”

  • “She dodged a bullet with that pregnancy.”

Considering the idiom refers to pregnancy, there aren’t too many opposite idioms available for this one.

What is the Correct Saying?

Here are a few ways to phrase this idiom.

  • She has a “bun in the oven.”
  • She’s working on a “bun in the oven.”
  • Tiffany and her partner have a “bun in the oven.”

Ways People May Say Bun in the Oven Incorrectly

A “bun in the oven” refers to pregnancy, but some people might use the idiom incorrectly or for other purposes. For clarity, the phrase does not refer to baking or cooking.

For example, saying she has a “bun in the oven” when baking hot cross buns would be technically accurate but confuses people familiar with the original idiom.

People may also use the idiom out of turn, speaking to someone they don’t know well. As a result, the person might seem somewhat offended at the gesture.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Bun in the Oven

When you tell someone that they are pregnant or describe someone’s pregnancy to another person, you’re using it in an informal setting, usually between friends.

“So, you have a bun in the oven there, Jacqueline?”

Are you guys thinking about putting a bun in the oven?” (referring to getting pregnant).

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