We can’t expect every slang for every body part to be totally biologically accurate. For better or worse, no dicks actually look like anacondas, and no breasts are perfectly identical to melons. At the very least, though, both of these comparisons are somewhat erotic in nature. Both take us right back to the Garden of Eden, and are basically suggestive of fertility and sin. Ass slang, however, isn’t quite as sexy. In fact, some of it is downright unattractive. I speak, of course, about the “dump truck.”
While it’s a compliment to be told I have one, I still think it’s a gross term. Although searching for the term on Twitter exclusively yields photos of mammoth asses, an actual dump truck is still best known as a vehicle used to transport garbage, dirt or gravel. So how, exactly, did this association come to be? And most importantly, how do real-life dump-truck drivers feel about it?
For the uninformed, a dump-truck ass isn’t just any butt. Urban Dictionary’s top definition says it’s a “metaphorical term to describe a specific type of large ‘booty,’” specifically one exceeding 40 inches around. Another popular definition states that it’s “an ass that is so phat, everyone in the room takes notice. You can’t hide a dump truck, you just gotta appreciate it. Dump truck booties often jiggle while walking, are noticeable under any kind of clothing and attract the attention of masses.” Disney Pixar moms like Elastigirl in The Incredibles are frequently cited as having dump trucks, too. In the world of slang, “dump truck” also has other, less popular applications — for example, in Jonathan Green’s slang dictionary, the term is defined as both a “car full of lesbians” and a “public defender.”
There’s no clear history of why people call asses “dump trucks,” but it at least seems a bit more logical than Green’s applications. Still, actual dump truck drivers say it doesn’t quite make sense. “I never thought about the slang ‘dump truck’ as having any relevance to actual dump trucks,” says 39-year-old Michael, a dump truck driver in New York City. “I’ve never looked at a girl with a big ass and said, ‘Wow, look at that dump truck,’ or ‘Boy, she can haul a lot of ass with that.’”
Instead, he says, dump-truck drivers tend to be more direct in their language. “In this job, which is probably over 95 percent male and 100 percent dump-truck drivers, the common hoot-and-holla at a girl with a big butt would likely be, ‘Did you see the fat ass on that girl, she’s a baaaad bitch,’” he tells me.
Daniel, 58, a former quarry dump-truck driver in California, agrees that the definition doesn’t align. “To me, it sounds misogynistic,” he says. “Plus, I’ve never seen a clean quarry/dump truck. If I were to compare something to a woman’s butt, I could certainly think of something more attractive.”
Again, it’s unclear who first made the link between that vehicle and the booty, but it’s not much of a stretch to associate a truck with a heavy tail-end with a human with similar features. That said, this may have been one of musician Sisqó’s many contributions to ass history. In his track “Thong Song,” he says of a woman, “She had dumps like a truck.” Illuminating the very problem with associating butts with the word “dump,” Sisqó explained to Huffington Post in 2016 that the lyric isn’t intended to be associated with poop. “That would mean I was some kind of fecal freak,” he told them. “What I was really referring to was a dump truck when it backs up — it’s like, ‘beep, beep, beep.’ So, ‘She had dumps like a dump truck’ is, like, when girls do a booty-dance move and they look back at their butt. She’s like a dump truck, back-back-backing it up.”
So really, he wasn’t even talking about fat asses at all. He was just talking about the phenomenon of a truck beeping when it backs up, something that school buses, forklifts and ambulances all do, as well. The dump-truck part of it is basically arbitrary.
Nevertheless, it’s fully infiltrated society — some even abbreviate “dump truck” when talking about asses and say “dumpster” or “dumpy” instead, which are arguably even worse. At least with a dump truck, I can imagine you’re hauling sand, or something. “Dumpy” just sounds like you’re about to take a dump.
My preferred term, one that I think conveys the same concept as dump truck, is “wagon.” Maybe you’re talking about a cool station wagon, maybe you’re talking about a little red wagon you’re rolling behind you filled with flowers and picnic supplies. That’s how I imagine it, anyway. Sure, a dump truck could hypothetically be filled with those things, too. But if the actual authorities on dump trucks say it’s not an apt comparison, I think we should trust them.