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English (chiefly West Country): nickname from Middle English chubbe ‘chub’, a common freshwater fish, Leuciscus cephalus. The fish is notable for its short, fat shape and sluggish habits. The word is well attested in Middle English as a description of an indolent, stupid, or physically awkward person, and this is probably the origin of modern English chubby, although the term has lost any pejorative overtones.