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Manspreading is the process in which a man sits on a public conveyance such as a bus or train with his legs spread wide apart in order to take as much space as possible and discourage other passengers from sitting close to him. The idea of men sitting on public conveyances with their legs spread very wide has been bandied about on the internet since 2008, but the New York blog AM New York was the first place where the term man spread was used, in 2014. The term proved very popular, and the noun manspreading was coined. Manspreading was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015.


The pair found that manspreading — decried by female commuters as a symptom of male privilege and defended by partakers as a necessity to protect their genitalia — is cause by men’s high shoulder-to-hip ratios. (The New York Daily News)

All that said, there’s rarely a man so large he needs one-and-a-half seats on a train, and each act of manspreading adds to the sum of impolite, self-centred behaviour that is corrosive to co-operative public systems. (The Edmonton JOurnal)

This analysis seemed a bit suspect so we conducted our own informal survey asking dudes to explain how they sit on a subway without manspreading. (The Huffington POst)

There are things like Deflategate or manspreading or the dresses worn at the Oscars, which many people talk about but few should. (Forbes Magazine)

The term ‘manspreading’ belongs to the 21st century but it turns out men have been struggling to sit with their legs closed together on public transport for at least 100 years or so. (The Telegraph)

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority made national news with its 2014 campaign against “manspreading,” the practice of some men who sit with knees wide apart, taking up two or three seats. (The Chicago Tribune)