Up the Duff – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to describe a pregnant woman who is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy? You could use the phrase “up the duff” to describe her condition. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression “up the duff” is another way of describing a pregnant woman. Typically, people use the phrase to describe a girl or woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or someone who doesn’t know the father’s identity due to their promiscuous sexual habits.

It’s a common alternative to “knocked up,” meaning that the woman may not have wanted the pregnancy, but she’s going through with it anyway.

Example Usage

“Look at that girl dancing and drinking while pregnant. She obviously doesn’t care that she’s got one up the duff. I feel sorry for that unborn kid.”

“She took it up the duff, and now she’s pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is. So much for one-night stands being a good idea.”

“Did you see Mellissa? She has one up the duff, and she looks as big as a house. I’m glad that’s not my baby.”

“Girls that don’t use contraception in their sexual relationships are walking a thin line. You could end up with one up the duff and no man to help you raise the child.”

“I told you that girl was a whore. Look, she’s got one up the duff, and she’s still trying to hit on guys left, right, and center.”

“It’s your problem that you have one up the duff. If you were smart, you would have used the pill or told him to use a condom.”

“With one up the duff, you’re in for a hard time trying to feed, clothe, and educate that child in a failing economy.”


The expression “up the duff” originates from Australian slang. According to John Baker’s Dictionary of Australian Slang, the saying first appeared in 1941. The definition of the saying appears as follows.

“Duff, up the (of a woman), pregnant.”

The relationship between duff and pregnancy traces back to the word “dough.” People would refer to “dough” as “pudding in the Victorian era.”

The “Plum Duff” was a Victorian Christmas dessert and a family favorite at the time. The use of “Plum Duff” in referring to pudding first appeared in 1840 in “Before the Mast,” a novel written by R. H. Danam, where it appears as follows.

“To enhance the value of the Sabbath to the crew, they are allowed on that day a pudding, or, as it is called, a ‘duff.'”

The pudding has a dome shape, similar to the form of a pregnant woman’s belly when she reaches the last trimester of the pregnancy. However, language experts are unsure when the phrase turned into a slang saying for pregnancy and why “duff” became a crass, rude word.

Phrases Similar to Up the Duff

  • Knocked up.
  • Unplanned pregnancy.
  • She doesn’t know who the father is.

Phrases Opposite to Up the Duff

  • Planned pregnancy.
  • Expectant mother.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Up the duff.

Ways People May Say Up the Duff Incorrectly

Using the expression to describe how your sister has one “up the duff” is crass and inconsiderate. Using the phrase to describe pregnancy in someone you know may cause them to take offense at your choice of language. Using the phrase to describe a planned pregnancy is less common.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Up the Duff

You can use the expression “up the duff” when describing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. It’s more common for men to use this saying than women due to its crass and rude nature. It’s a slang term, and you’ll only use it in social situations with people you know.

For instance, if you see a girl at a party and she’s pregnant but still dancing and drinking, you could say she has one up the duff. She probably has promiscuous sexual habits resulting in an unplanned pregnancy.

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