washboard » dashboard

Chiefly in:   dashboard stomach

Classification: English – questionable

Spotted in the wild:

  • “Guy: Nah, I’m trying to get that six pack for summer. I’m not going for the dashboard stomach or anything. Besides, the dashboard on my car isn’t looking too good, ya know? “ (link)
  • “… three times and I have the soundtrack, I loved Timeline too (can you say dashboard stomach?) hahaha he is one of the most handsome men I´ve ever seen…” (link)

Analyzed or reported by:

  • David Fenton (e-mail of 16 June 2005)

Fenton supplied the first cite from the New York Times of 15 June 2005, in the “Overheard in New York” column; Fenton remarked that it seemed self-aware, in the sense that the speaker seemed to realize there was some oddity in the expression. The other, about actor/singer Gerard Butler, is the only (genuine) one I could find by googling. Can two swallows an eggcorn summer make?

| link | entered by Arnold Zwicky, 2005/06/16 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Ben Zimmer , 2005/06/17 at 9:57 am

    There are also a few Googlehits for “dashboard abs” (e.g., this article from the Hindustan Times, Mar. 1, 2004).

  2. 2

    Commentary by Jack Stuart , 2005/07/04 at 10:59 am

    I believe these folks were going for the phrase “washboard” stomach or abs and just misheard the phrase or misunderstood it.
    (Washboard abs as in: Abs so well defined they can be used as a washboard)

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