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Male buttocks ( high narrow pelvis )
Female buttocks

The buttocks ( anatomically Nates, Clunes, regio glutea, regio glutealis , gluteal region ) is a body part at the lower end of the trunk that is only pronounced in humans and to some extent in primates . In topographical anatomy, the area of ​​the buttocks is called the regio glutaea (buttock region). This region is also called croup in animals and Sterz in humans.


The buttocks are made up of two hemispherical, mirror-symmetrical buttocks halves or buttocks , which are separated from each other by the anal groove (rima ani, crena analis ). The buttocks consist of the two ischial bones (os ischii) of the pelvis as the bony base, the gluteus maximus , medius and minimus muscles and pronounced fat pads . Both buttocks are limited downwards by the gluteal furrows .

The gluteus maximus is after the chewing muscles ( masseter muscle ) the second strongest skeletal muscle of the human body (there are different definitions of muscle strength, according to others is the gluteus maximus is the strongest muscle). It connects the ilium and sacrum with the thigh , allowing the extensor of the hip joint , the walking and standing and prevents over tilting the pelvis forward. The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles prevent the pelvis from sinking on the side of the free leg when walking and standing on one leg.

In addition to the upright posture, the buttocks also allow you to sit for longer thanks to their fat pads. It is the largest fat depot after the abdomen . The shape and size of the buttocks are therefore largely determined by the mass of the subcutaneous fat. Its amount (about one third to well over half of the buttocks mass) depends primarily on gender and the nutritional status of the body. The fat is concentrated on the buttocks as a layer several centimeters thick under the skin, as fat deposits between the individual muscle strands and as fat in the lower inner area of ​​the buttocks. The tendency to develop more voluminous buttocks in the course of life is known as steatopygia (colloquially also as fat rump).

Social importance

The buttocks are considered to be an intimate part of the body with a strong erotic attraction for both sexes, but because of their proximity to the anus they are also unclean. In many cultures, a feeling of shame dictates that you cover your buttocks. In some cultures, exposing one's buttocks is a gesture to express protest, scorn, or disdain - like mooning .

Beating the buttocks is a method of corporal punishment in many cultures , particularly in raising children. In English (and in German in the BDSM area) punishment on the buttocks is called spanking .

Other names

An outdated high-level term for the buttocks is rump . It is still found today in the tailbone , the lower process of the spine . There are also numerous colloquial and vulgar expressions for the buttocks. That since the 17th century took Podex is (Latin origin podex that ablautend to pēdere heard 'fart'). Popo and Po are presumably nursing abbreviations from the 18th century, first attested in the northeast. Popo is also the origin of the phrase sit down on your four letters! .

The term ass - in Bavarian / Austrian also Orsch, Oasch - is also mostly used vulgarly , for example in the Swabian greeting ( lick my ass ). It goes back to Indo-European * orso-s 'rear', in Hittite arraš , in Greek órros , but actually means anus , so it only stands metonymically , as pars pro toto , for the whole buttocks. Other names are Fott (cf. also the etymology of Fotze ), in Switzerland Füdli , Füdle , Füdlech or, in children's language, Fudi (a combination of Fud and Loch ). In northern Germany, the Low German name Mors is sometimes used ; In Standard German, the butt is a comparatively neutral term for the buttocks, without any childish or vulgar appeal. A somewhat ironic term that demands fine language is the very best . The term seat meat for the buttocks is also used as a metaphor for perseverance and perseverance.



  • Jean-Luc Hennig: The butt. History of a distinctive part of the body . vgs, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-8025-2572-8 .
  • Christiane Blass: The bottom . DuMont, Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-7701-8658-3 .

Web links

Wiktionary: ass  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: buttocks  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : buttocks  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Alois Walde / Johann Baptist Hofmann , Latin etymological dictionary , Vol. II, Winter, Heidelberg, 1954, p. 273.
  2. ^ Friedrich Kluge / Elmar Seebold , Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York, 2002 (24th edition), p. 713.
  3. Schweizerisches Idiotikon , Vol. III, Sp. 1023, Article Füd-Loch ( digitized version ).