Bun in the oven is an idiom that may not be as old as you think. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the term bun in the oven, where it probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences.
To have a bun in the oven means to be pregnant, to be expecting a child. The term bun in the oven has been traced to a novel published in 1951, Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat. Interestingly, a woman’s womb has been referred to as an oven since the late 1600s, though it took nearly three hundred years for the imagery of a bun baking in that oven to become established. The plural form to mean a pregnancy in which more than one child is being carried would be buns in the oven. The plural form to mean multiple pregnant women would be buns in the ovens.
ExamplesWhile Deena doesn’t have a bun in the oven just yet, her future kids do already have some best friends! (Life and Style Weekly)Early this year, she took two months off from work, prompting online speculation that she had a bun in the oven. (The Straits Times)Sugar, butter, and flour were the ingredients intended to a bake a handful of popular pies, but it’s a bun in the oven that sets small-town server Jenna’s timer ticking. (Broadway World Magazine)