Merriam-Webster Ruined Everyone's Weekend by Claiming the Hot Dog Is a Sandwich

Photo Composite: © Tim Boyle/Getty Images / Alex Hayden

The last time a dictionary company ruined your Memorial Day weekend probably goes back to your high school days when you suddenly realized you had a paper due on Tuesday and grabbed the reference book so you could open your report with everyone’s favorite first sentence: “Merriam-Webster defines [blank] as…”

But in the age of clickbait, Merriam-Webster has found a new way to make our Memorial Day weekend hellish, chiming in on the now excessive “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” debate.


On Friday afternoon, while many of us (yours truly included) were already on our second holiday weekend margarita, those jerks at the Merriam-Webster Twitter account decided to fire off this infuriating gem: “Have a great #MemorialDayWeekend. The hot dog is a sandwich.” Not leaving much room for debate on that one, are we, Merriam-Webster?

The tweet included a link to “10 Kinds of Sandwiches” – the first of which (first!) was the hot dog. “We know: the idea that a hot dog is a sandwich is heresy to some of you,” M-W wrote on its website. “But given that the definition of sandwich is ‘two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,’ there is no sensible way around it.”

Merriam-Webster then dug itself an ever bigger hole. “If you want a meatball sandwich on a split roll to be a kind of sandwich, then you have to accept that a hot dog is also a kind of sandwich.” Um, no. I want a “meatball sandwich” to be called a “meatball hero,” you savages. Merriam-Webster is headquartered in Massachusetts, for god’s sake—at least call it a “meatball grinder!”

But keep in mind: Merriam-Webster is using a Merriam-Webster definition of a sandwich to prove their point. That’s the definition of circular logic.

Now, let’s get into a real argument: Why do people still spell it “hot dog”? It’s not a hot animal. It’s a singular thing. It’s a hotdog. Where does Merriam-Webster stand on that one? Not that it matters.

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