Do you think you’re “short waisted” (or “long waisted”)?

What you really mean is a short torso!  As in, “short torsoed,” (though there’s no such word as “torsoed,” but at least “torsoed” makes anatomical sense.

When someone says they have a short waist, they’re referring to a brief distance between their waistline and shoulders.

This section of the body is the torso or trunk. When people talk about these proportions, it is almost always in reference to wardrobe/clothing, or exercise.

In either case, the very incorrect terminology of “short waisted” always comes up.

Think about this for a moment: A waist cannot be short. The waist goes around you; its dimension is that of circumference, not a length of point A to point B.

This is why the waistline is measured with a tape measure that can be easily wrapped around the circumference, rather than a ruler, that can be used to measure the distance from the waist/hip to the shoulder (for trunk or torso length).

Of course, no actual measurements are necessary; just look at yourself or someone and you can usually tell if they have a short torso/trunk or not (relative to the rest of their body).

The waist cannot be short or long. Remember, its dimension is in the form of circumference or girth.

Thus, a waist can be small, medium or big; skinny, plump or large; you get the picture. Sometimes the waist is referred to as tight or flat. But to refer to it as short or long is erroneous.

One time I was in a gym and a man nearby was studying his body in the mirror, chatting to another man.

The first man was motioning with his hands, the span between his midsection and shoulders. He was all legs. He told his buddy, “I’m so short waisted.”

I thought, “No, you’re short trunked.”

Google “short waist” and see what comes up. Link after link after link with this incorrect terminology. Of course, when you speak these words, most people will know what you mean, but maybe not all.

If you have short thighs (femurs), would you say, “I’m so short kneed?” or, “I have short knees”?

If you have long upper arms, would you say, “I have long elbows”?

It’s the exact same approach when you say “short/long waist” instead of “torso” or “trunk.”

So next time you want to describe vertical body length in the midsection, say torso or trunk.

Because there is no such thing as a short or long waist. The waist does not have length. It has girth, which is a different form of measurement.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.