Have you ever witnessed an argument between a few people online and heard the term “manlet”. As you can probably imagine, this is not a term of endearment. It’s a way of mocking people for being short.
Today, I want to take a look at what a Manlet is, how short you need to be to one, and whether or not it’s good to be a manlet.
How short is a manlet?
A Manlet is a short man who has built a lot of muscle to detract from their lack of height. There is no set definition of how short one needs to be to qualify as a manlet. This, as you can imagine, might lead to some trouble.
Why “manlet” being open to interpretation is a problem
Since there is no set in stone number for how small you need to be to qualify as a manlet, this makes it wide open to interpretation. As everyone has a different definition of what qualifies as “short”.
For example, for some people, anyone under 6ft is short. Whereas for others, if you’re under 5ft8, you’re short.
Most of the time, the word “manlet” is used by women as a way of saying, “I know you’re muscular, but because you’re short, I have no interest in pursuing anything with you”.
How different places might define “manlet”
To get a better idea of what a “manlet” could be, perhaps we should look at the average height of men. In the UK, where I am, the average man is 5ft10. But in the USA, where I’m guessing most of you are from, the average is 5ft9.5.
So would a British “manlet” just be average in America?
The country with the shortest men is Timor-Leste, where they average about 5ft3. And in the Netherlands, the average man is 6ft0.5.
Would the average Brit or American be seen as a “manlet” if they were to go on holiday to the Netherlands?
Not all short men are “manlets”
Let’s just clear something up really quickly. Not all short men are manlets. In fact, the majority of short men are not manlets.
If a short man is happy being short and doesn’t try to hide it, they are not a manlet. If, however, a short man feels like women are constantly rejecting him for his height, so he decides to dedicate hours to the gym, he could be considered a manlet.
Their logic is that even though they’re short, they will stand a better chance with women if they go to the gym and get some muscle.
Where does the “let” suffix in “manlet” come from?
Have you ever noticed that when “let” appears at the end of a word, that usually implies it’s a smaller version of something, usually much bigger? Often, baby animals are called animallets—for example, piglets, owlets, and froglets. But there are non-animal words that end in “let” such as “booklet” (a small book) and even “pellet” (which is a small thing).
The term “let” is a combination of French and Latin. From the french, we have “et”, a shortened version of “ette”- think “cigarette” is like a small cigar.
The Latin “el” is shortened from “ellus”- think “organelle”.
Over time, “et” and “el” merged into “let”.
Is it bad to be a “manlet”?
Now we know what a “manlet” is, I want to address whether being a manlet is necessarily bad.
It’s bad to be a “manlet”
Some would say that trying to hide who you are by going to the gym a lot is overcompensating. Gaining muscle will not give you height. Instead, you should embrace your flaws.
It’s not bad to be a “manlet”
On the other hand, it could be argued that if someone wants to go to the gym and not harm themselves or anyone else, what is there to complain about?
Saying that “manlet” is a bad thing is to say that going to the gym is bad. Most can agree this isn’t the case.
What is the female equivalent of a “manlet”?
This leads to the question of “what is the female equivalent of a manlet?”. Some would say that it’s a “giantess”, but that’s just a tall woman, and not all short men are manlets.
We need to find something that men like in a woman and ask how a woman who doesn’t have it might overcompensate? Perhaps something along the lines of a cheating wh*re or a fat, ugly sl*t?
Examples of “manlet” in sentences
“Big alpha male energy. Stand down and stand by manlet “
“HE’S JUST SO SMALL… A TRUE BLUE MANLET IF I EVER SEEN ONE”
“i saw the manlet jokes but i assumed that meant he was like. 5’8 or something cuz the online but OUUGAGHGHHH HE’S SOOO SMAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL.”
“Not a lot of 70 year olds can fight. And not a lot of them will get lucky and fight an absolute manlet.”
“You need to be constantly reminded of your place, manlet.”
“Just out of curiosity in case I have a manlet laying around: how does one turn a regular oc into a werewolf oc.”
Alternatives to “manlet”
Of course, “manlet” is not the only term we have to insult short people. Rightly or wrongly, within the English language, there are multiple ways you can insult people (especially men) for their lack of height.
The most boring and basic would probably something along the lines of “shortie/short*ss”. But being short doesn’t automatically make you a manlet.
If someone goes to the gym a lot to make up for being short, you might say they are “compensating”. This could also infer they have a small pen*s.
If you want to get super creative, you could also refer to them as a “shrimp on steroids”.
A “manlet” is not another word for a short man. It’s a short man who makes up for being short by spending a lot of time at the gym to build muscle. We could argue about whether or that that should mean they get insulted. In reality, “manlet” is used as an insult 99% of the time.
It’s rather strange how these words have come about. Instead of just calling someone “short”, we’ve made a whole new word in an attempt to dehumanise them. But perhaps it’s time for the short, muscular men to reclaim “manlet”, and wear it as a badge of pride!