10 new food words added to dictionaries and have come into being during the COVID-19 pandemic

10 new food words added to dictionaries and have come into being during the COVID-19 pandemic

Dictionaries make room for food in the COVID-19 era with new vocabulary and slang

Chinese pulao with egg
Food words every foodie has to cope with Image Credit: Camera Press

Just when you think you know all there is to know about food, people discover the “cheetle” or create a “mukbang”.

Food is beloved around the world, and even as people think up new ways of cooking, decorating and presenting meals, dictionaries are working hard to keep up with the vocabulary of the experience.

Dictionaries have updated to reflect new food terminology Image Credit: Stock photo/Pexels

In 2020, COVID-19 lockdowns saw more people heading into the kitchen. A Harvard Business Review report cited a survey in which 54 per cent of Americans said they were cooking more than they were before the pandemic. It’s a similar story in other parts of the world. So, it’s no wonder that food-related vocabulary is on the rise.

To keep you informed, we picked 10 interesting food words and slang terms that emerged recently. Here’s our list:

Bakeable (adj.)

apple pie, oven, bake
A woman looks on as an apple pie bakes in the oven Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

Something that can be baked or is suitable for being baked. The word also refers to equipment or devices that can be heated to high temperatures. Added to Oxford English Dictionary in September 2020, as more and more people decided to cook at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Fond (n.)

steak, pan
Steak cooked in a pan Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

French for ‘base’, this word refers to the delicious browned bits of food that collect at the bottom of a pan during cooking, especially after sautéing meat or vegetables. Added to Oxford English Dictionary in December 2020.

Belly-wash (slang, n.)

soft drink, can
An open soft drink can Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

Any barely drinkable liquid or beverage, such as inferior soda, coffee, or soup. It can also mean nonsense. This slang term, which originated in the second half of the 19th century, made a comeback thanks to a popular YouTube channel called The Angry Grandpa Show. On January 23, 2021, Dictionary.com made it the Word of the Day.

Kitchenalia (n.)

copper, saucepans
Copper saucepans on shelves Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

Cooking utensils and other kitchen-related items, regarded collectively, and even used as collectables. With more time on their hands to explore different recipes in their kitchens, home cooks brought this word back into popular use in 2020. Collins Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary both updated the entry last year.

Cheetle (slang, n.)

In January 2020, the snack food giant Frito-Lay announced this new term for the powdery orange residue left behind on one’s fingers after eating Cheetos. Dictionary.com, among others, promptly added the word to their slang dictionary.

Cookie Monster (n.)

cookie monster
Cookie Monster toy Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

A person or thing which resembles the Cookie Monster character from Sesame Street, in being voraciously hungry or insatiably greedy; someone or something that devours food. Added to the Oxford English Dictionary in September 2020.

Mukbang (n.)

photo, video, food
Food captured on a mobile camera Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

A video in which the host eats a large quantity of food for the entertainment of his/her viewers. The word originates from the Korean words “meogneun” (eating) and “bangsong” (broadcast). The concept gained popularity in South Korea in 2010 and has since become a global trend. While mukbang did not win the Word of the Year spot in Collins Dictionary (it went to ‘Lockdown’), it did make it to their 2020 Shortlisted Words list.

Plant-based (adj.)

skewer, vegetables
Skewer of sauteed vegetables Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

Often used synonymously with ‘vegetarian’ and ‘vegan’, the word designates food or drink that is derived from plants. It is also increasingly used in contexts in which people are trying to reduce the consumption of animal products, rather than eliminating them from their diets completely. The Oxford English Dictionary added the entry in June 2020.

Kitchie (slang, n.)

family, kitchen
A family spends time together in the kitchen Image Credit: Stock photo/Pexels

A room, building, or area in which food is prepared and cooked. The word is also the Scottish variant of ‘kitchen’, according to Merriam-Webster, which added the quirky slang to its dictionary in 2020.

Bread hook (slang, n.)

break, bread, hands
A man breaks bread with his hands Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

This slang word originated in North America and refers to one’s finger or hand. Usually used in plural form. It was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in September 2020, as people around the world embraced comfort food during the pandemic, with bread being one of the most popular items on the menu.

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