They join a list of "new" food words the British reference book recognized this year.

By Mike Pomranz
October 15, 2019

Separated by the Atlantic Ocean for hundreds of years, the dialects of American English and British English inevitably drifted apart. And yet, seeing as English is named after England, any words added to that country's best known dictionary—the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)—should still be of interest to English speakers anywhere, especially at a time when technology is bringing us (and our stupid memes) closer together.

Speaking of which, the OED has just released its quarterly update, and 203 new words have made the cut. Among them are the painfully modern ("chillax" and "whatevs" were fittingly added at the same time) and pop culture-referencing (Star Wars fans should recognize "Padawan" and "lightsabre," despite the wonky British spelling of the latter). But about a dozen food-related words also officially entered the dictionary. If you find yourself talking to the Queen, feel free to use any of these without getting reprimanded…

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  • amber pudding—defined as "a dish consisting of a mixture of ambergris, almonds, breadcrumbs, etc., enclosed in a pig's intestine and boiled," it was added despite now being considered "historical and rare."
  • anchoïade—an anchovy-based Provençal purée served on bread or as a dip.
  • anchoveta—a type of small anchovy found off the coasts of Peru and Chile.
  • angel hair—"in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries: a sweet preserve made from the fibrous flesh of a squash or pumpkin" (don't worry, the pasta is already in there).
  • arancini—Italian deep-fried rice balls, of course!
  • chewy—apparently this is slang for "a piece of chewing gum," though whether that's only in the United Kingdom or whether I am out of touch is TBD.
  • Cobb salad—the famed American salad has finally been accepted across the pond.
  • goetta—a dish we once called "the best breakfast sausage you've never had" (though apparently even the Brits have had it now).
  • poke—like, where have you been Oxford English Dictionary?!
  • sattu—a South Asian flour made from "a mixture of roasted and ground pulses and cereals such as barley and gram."
  • shave ice—the Hawaiian snow cone has finally hit the big time.
  • simit—a ring-shaped bread roll that plays a key part of a full Turkish breakfast
  • simmered—the OED now officially recognizes "simmered" as an adjective, which should make plenty of British food editors happy.

Interestingly, a number of these words have American origins, which makes sense: American words take longer to get accepted into British culture. And as an odd twist, last month, the well-known American dictionary Merriam-Webster also updated its word list, and "royal icing" was finally added.

You know what, United Kingdom? Maybe we should just merge our dictionaries together? For Brits, a "tallboy" really should mean more than "a tall piece of furniture with drawers." Meanwhile, Americans really should know why Brits find the term "fanny pack" absolutely hilarious.

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