Football player build

When saying that someone is fat or overweight, I always feel that I have to use a diminutive or a euphemism, so as not to be disrespectful. In fact, I would rather not mention it at all, but sometimes you just can’t avoid the issue. In Spanish I normally use the diminutive ‘gordito/gordita’ which sounds a bit like the French ‘grassouillet’ and almost like a pet name. In English I wouldn’t use the adjective on its own, but rather say something like ‘a little bit overweight’. Terms like ‘portly/stocky frame’ or ‘stout’ are also politically correct, I think.

Which terms do you mostly use?

Some thesaurus definitions:

beefy, big, blimp, brawny, broad, bulging, bulky, bull, burly, butterball, chunky, corpulent, cow, distended, dumpy, elephantine, fleshy, gargantuan, gross, heavy, heavyset, hefty, husky, inflated, jelly-belly, lard, large, meaty, obese, overblown, oversize, paunchy, plump, plumpish, ponderous, porcine, portly, potbellied, pudgy, roly-poly, rotund, solid, stocky, stout, stubby, swollen, thickset, tubby, weighty, whale

blubber, bulk, cellulite, corpulence, excess, fatness, flab, flesh, grease, lard, obesity, overabundance, overflow, paunch, plethora, suet, superfluity, surfeit, surplus, tallow

fatty, chubby, blubbery, cholesterol-filled, fat, fatlike, greasy, lardaceous, lardy, oily, oleaginous, rich, suety, unctuous

Someone with an (American) football player build is not necessarily fat. He can be very bulky from having so much muscle. Some of them are fat, but not most of them.

All of those polite terms that you gave for obese people are in normal currency. I think you can get by with stout or portly, if the person is really fat. Plump is a bit less fat than fat. When Americans say that a woman is pleasingly plump, it means she’s fat. You can also politely refer to a fat woman as Rubenesque (as in a Rubens painting). In personal advertisements, many fat women list themselves as “BBW”, which stands for “big beautiful woman”. Very assertive fat women who are somewhat intimidating call themselves “large and in charge”.

You can also, either affectionately or derogatorily, call someone a “butterball”. Probably the most diplomatic thing is to say that the people are heavy.