Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Oct 9, 2009 10:47 AM

"With au jus" = with with the juice

Just a heads up to the authors of the many posts which refer to eating/cooking meats "with au jus". This incorrect usage may result in your opinions being considered less valuable by others. I don't mean to be snarky, just offering a metaphorical "spinach in your teeth" aside to those who'd be embarrassed.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The phrase is common parlance in the cafeteria at the Department of Redundancy Department.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      I've eaten there! I have the same thing everytime. Twice!

      1. re: lil magill

        You just reminded me of a sign that was in British Aerospace. It said...


        1. re: virtualguthrie

          Why the apostrophe in quesadillas? I want to know why people are doing this, not trying to pick on you.

          1. re: sandylc

            I suspect this apostrophe is like the one used on "the 70's". It's a way of gluing the plural 's' on to a word that normally does not take a plural, either because it's a number or foreign. This apostrophe also appears on store names and surnames, often in an ambiguous plural/possessive context.

            Think about how the apostrophe is used in "it's" - it's part of the contraction, gluing 'is' onto 'it'. Why don't we use the apostrophe in the possessive case "its"? I think the rule was invented to resolve an ambiguous situation. We don't pronounce the two "its" differently; but it helps when writing to make the distinction clear.

            I'm not saying that such a usage is right, just that this may be how their minds are working.

            1. re: sandylc

              The worst of the genre is a bar in Paris, gone now, merci, called Jame's Joyce.

                1. re: TroyTempest

                  It's called the "grocers' apostrophe" and it always amuses me.

                  e.g. "Sale! Grape's 2 lbs/$1.00"


                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    That's an interesting article - the diverse, and often controversial, uses of the apostrophe. I wouldn't mind dropping all uses except for the glottal stop, where it has an actual phonetic value.

                    1. re: paulj

                      Ha! What about the misuse of quotation marks at grocery stores? "Fresh" apples.

                      Makes ya think....

                  1. re: sandylc

                    That must be what the bar name means !

            2. Good point. Also a while back someone pointed out (not on CH) that you shouldn't be mixing/combining languages anyway. The example she gave was "double entendre" but I can't think of a food one offhand --- except au jus.

              13 Replies
              1. re: c oliver

                I had a co-worker who used to go bonkers over Beef Fajitas saying it was redundant, and chicken fajita was impossible, being that the fajita was a cut of beef. According to the dictionary, it is a cut of meat, without the type of meat being specified, but i suspect originally that it was beef. Well, needless to say he never won this battle.

                  1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                    Today's Soup du Jour of the Day

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Reminds me of the old joke, "What is the Soup du Jour? I don't know but they have it every day."

                      1. re: TroyTempest

                        I know a coffeeshop that offers "Free Coffee Tomorrow."
                        A present for their customers which of course never quite arrives in the present tense... And a sign which sometimes renders a less-than-understanding customer somewhat, um, tense.

                        I always thought they should offer Soup du Hier, soup from yesterday. Like stew, it's always better on the second day.
                        One more thing to offer on that subject, attached pic of an honest sign.

                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                          The first reminds me of the following song from the TV movie version of Alice in Wonderland

                          As for the second that takes me back to some of the odd things that could show up at the dining hall back at colledge, like the NY strip soup (steak soup, sure, but they normally 1. don't advertize what cut as part of the name 2. Wouldn't use a cut like that for soup and 3. Served it 3-4 days after a semi-annual festive meal (that they had said had not had enough atendees that year at that hall.)
                          And I suppose that a lot of tradtional kitchens served something like Soup du Hier or more accurately (pardon me for grammar, French is not a language I am fluent in) Soup de Tout de Hiers, soup from all the yesterdays (i.e. the perpetually simmering pot kept on the back burner of many a kitchen into which all leftover meal scraps were tossed in a "waste not want not" plan.

                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                            Also, Potage Garbage, or Crème Frigidaire.

                            1. re: eclecticsynergy

                              Soupe d'hier. Ou soupe de la veille. Sorry, given the thread topic, I couldn't resist.

                      2. re: c oliver

                        Whoever claimed that "double entendre" is mixing languages clearly doesn't speak French. "Double" is the same word, spelled the same way, in both English and French. It's pronounced differently, of course - the French sounds more like DOOB-lə - but the phrase itself is as completely French as bon appetit.

                        1. re: BobB

                          I'm not sure I follow. The phrase, while using French words, is not used often in French (double sens is more typical-- and in fact, I think I've only ever heard double entendre used by English speakers), Meanwhile, bon appetit is used in the francophone nations I run around in.

                          1. re: Lizard

                            Lizard is right. The French do not say double entendre. They say double sens. They don't say nom de plume. They say nom de guerre. They don't say connoisseur. They say connaisseur.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              Double sens is the modern usage. Looking into this further I find I was slightly incorrect - etymologically it appears that double entendre is actually a corruption of the older French phrase "à double entente." But in either case, "double" is both an English and a French word, so someone insisting it's purely English and shouldn't be mixed with French is clearly off base.

                      3. PIN Number
                        ATM Machine
                        With au jus

                        I see it as all the same thing

                        61 Replies
                          1. re: Terrieltr

                            True, they are all highly irritating and bound to lead to either a poor first impression, or a reduced estimation, of you in the mind of those who are listening or reading your output.

                            1. re: Terrieltr

                              PIN number sticks in my craw too along with:
                              SIN number (Canadian)
                              salsa sauce
                              lentils from du puy . . . groan
                              naan bread - don't we know it's bread?

                              1. re: cinnamon girl

                                yep I was gonna say naan bread and chai tea. but y'all beat me to it.

                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                  what would be a more authentically Indian way of talking about 'chai tea' - a (soy) milk, spiced tea mix? If 'chai' just means tea, how do you add the spiced connotation? Some years ago, before 'chai' was a available in liter boxes, I bought a bottle of 'chai massala', a mix of cardamom, ginger, etc., i.e. a spice mix intended for use in 'chai'.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    masala chai.

                                    but then that's the way 99% of the tea in india is served so it's what you usually get if you just say chai - you have to specify if you want lemon tea, or no milk or whatever

                                    1. re: thew

                                      But there are many many kinds of masala. So you should be sure to specify that you want "chai masala" chai. And to be absolutely sure, "masala chai masala chai". Etc.

                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                        No, everyone would get what you mean if you said masala chai. Though the specifics of the exact spices use could vary, they would all be within the acceptable range of what spices go in spiced tea.

                                        No one is going to put, say, goda masala or sambar masala in your chai. I promise. :-)

                                      2. re: thew

                                        No, most tea in India is not served spiced. When you just say 'chai', most people assume you're talking about strong black tea with plenty of milk and probably sugar.

                                        1. re: Scrofula

                                          i have to say in all my years in india that has not been my experience. most of the tea in india is served in small chai shops, or by roadside chai wallahs, not in fancy restaurants. i would say, that in my experience 99% of those have at least a little spice mixed in the tea.

                                          1. re: thew

                                            I'd guess that more tea is brewed at home than by chaiwallahs, and I've rarely seen people brew their day-to-day tea with masala. I haven't had a lot of chai shop tea, so I can't comment on how common it is for those to be spiced, though it seems plausible.

                                      3. re: paulj

                                        Yes, it would be masala chai as thew says.

                                    2. re: cinnamon girl

                                      Have you ever actually heard someone say "salsa sauce?" I would probably just assume they have a stutter. ;)

                                      1. re: manicmzungu

                                        I have heard "salsa sauce" quite a bit in the UK, but not in the US.

                                    3. from the cheesemarket
                                      "sheep's milk pecorino"
                                      "goat's milk chevre"

                                      1. re: Terrieltr

                                        I used to work at the TAB Building, i.e. Tufts Administration Building Building

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                gunny sack
                                                other option
                                                other alternative

                                                  1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                    other option and other alternative have their places. for example, one option is that we have a late lunch; the other option is that we have an early dinner.

                                                    1. re: Vidute

                                                      Sorry your right I should have put
                                                      no other option
                                                      no other alternative

                                                    2. re: jumpingmonk

                                                      Funny thing about 'gunny sack'. While 'gunny' comes from an Indian word for 'sack', in English it normally refers to the material commonly used for sacks. So adding 'sack' to the phrase in English is not redundant. It is equally common to use 'gunnysack'.

                                                      I bet a lot of posters who object to 'with au jus', don't even flinch when they hear 'gunny sack'.

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        I actually heard something similar on a cartoon yesterday, on whether "Tuna fish" is redundant. On one level the way it is usally used, it sort of is (we don't say "salmon fish" or "bass fish" or, god help me, "swordfish fish". On the other hand I am fairly sure that there are parts of the world where the word means other things (for example isn't "tuna" the word used in parts of the southwest to refer to catus fruit? or does that version have a tilde (in which case I imagine it is pronounce "tunya") in those places, I assume you need the "fish" part to tell which one you are talking about.

                                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                          On Google ngram 'tuna fish' appears around 1910, with a jump in the 1930s. The sources mostly talk about 'canned tuna fish' and related commercial fisheries in the USA. UK usage is much lower.

                                                          'tunny' is more common before that.

                                                          Many of the 19th c references to 'tuna' are to the cactus fruit. That name comes from Spanish.

                                                          In Spanish, the fish is atún.

                                                          More discussion here
                                                          posts there mention 'tunny fish', and the German Thunfische

                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                          I'd be one of those. While I knew the original meaning of gunny, alas I don't speak any of the many languages of India or the rest of South Asia. I have spoken French and English from childhood.

                                                      2. re: paulj

                                                        OK, I'll admit it. I don't get what's wrong with Christmas mass.

                                                        1. re: dmjordan

                                                          Christmas mass = Christ's mass mass

                                                  2. re: somervilleoldtimer

                                                    I've heard CHARCUTERIE pronounced "shock a TER ee" by a few moderately-priced places in Southern CA. I couldn't shake it from my auditory memory.
                                                    I am a very, very basic French speaker.

                                                    Now granted, most English-only speakers wouldn't pronounce it as French speakers would. In fact, my French-speaking American culinary friends agree that it is acceptable and normal to hear it pronounced by servers as "shar COO ter ee".

                                                    And if you ask native French speakers, well there is only one way to say it.

                                                    A correct usage can really depend on how it is informally accepted by the majority of people in the region it is being spoken. But an egregious pronunciation, as pointed out above, is laughable.

                                                    On a different note, in my first trip to Paris, I got a kick out of an Indian server (with a Tamil accent) in Le Marais admonishing my use of "pommes frites". In fact, at first he feigned ignorance when I ordered them. My Parisian friend had to use "french fries" for him to supposedly understand.


                                                    1. re: globocity

                                                      I really appreciate the way the British pronounce foreign words in an unapologetically British way. For example, "fillet" is pronounced "FILL-it", not "fi-LAY". It lends itself to so much less ambiguity and awkward moments.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        the 'fi-la' pronunciation is limited to the food use. Otherwise we use 'fil-it'. At least in the non-food use it is hardly foreign, going back to Middle English.

                                                        I wonder when and where the pseudo-French pronunciation crept in. It could go back to the 19th c. when the use of French on menu's was all the rage.

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          PAULJ! Is that an apostrophe on a plural???? :-0

                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            Ha! Let's give paulj the benefit of the doubt. Would a CHer normally do such a thing? Methink's not.


                                                            1. re: globocity

                                                              When my kid was actually a kid he called them "unemployed apostrophes"....

                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                  I like to call them "grocers' apostrophes"

                                                                  i.e. "Grape's $0.59/lb"

                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                it's called a 'typo'.

                                                                Often when I read my old posts I find mistakes, most commonly missing words. If it weren't for spell checkers, my spelling would be atrocious.

                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                  You're so smart that I was shocked - !

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    I type so fast and have been surprised by my grammatical and spelling errors. Happens to all of us!

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                    Thank you, that was fun. But I prefer Eddie Izzard's reason for pronouncing the 'h' in 'herbs': "BECAUSE THERE'S A F***ING 'H' IN IT!"

                                                                    1. re: Fydeaux

                                                                      I'd like to counter that by asking him where the 'r' is is ass.

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster


                                                                          Yes, in Canada we use both. So we aren't half-arsed, or half-assed.

                                                                          The equine is always an ass.

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                        Funny. Regarding #9, aren't Brits infamously bad at French pronunciations?

                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                          When is 'fillet' English, and when is it French?

                                                                          various translations of 'fillet' into French

                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                            Hm-mm...that is a bigger discussion that has been touched upon often in Chowhouns...I think my one linguistics class isn't enough to expore that fully right's almost a chicken/egg thing.

                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                          And when was the last time, outside of 40s movies, that you heard someone call a butt a "fanny"?

                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                            Just don't use fanny in England. It's not a butt there.

                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                              I pondered what to call it in my post. Fanny would never be an option in my generation and probably one or two before it, however!

                                                                              I guess "rear" or "bottom" might possible, with "a$$" being a common, if more crude name....

                                                                              And why am I even talking about this - *&*^%*?

                                                                            2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                              Love it. And this: "I love visiting Britain---the natives almost speak English!'

                                                                    2. re: Terrieltr

                                                                      the hoi polloi

                                                                      that's the one that gets me.

                                                                      1. re: antimony

                                                                        Don't be so hoi polloi, oops, I mean hoity-toity! :)

                                                                        1. re: antimony

                                                                          they everyday people? I don't understand the issue there.

                                                                        2. re: Terrieltr

                                                                          Terrieltr wrote upthread:

                                                                          "PIN Number
                                                                          ATM Machine
                                                                          With au jus

                                                                          I see it as all the same thing"

                                                                          Or as my pals in Jersey irritatingly used to say, "It's the same difference."

                                                                          Yogi Berra once was asked if a situation wasn't a lot like another that had occurred recently. His answer was, "The similarities are different." !!

                                                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                            I guess a little OT, but one of my favorite Yogi quotes is food related:
                                                                            "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

                                                                            If I'm not mistaken, I think he was speaking about an Italian restaurant named Ruggeri's in St. Louis. I don't think they're around anymore.

                                                                            1. re: MonMauler

                                                                              Yep, gotta love Yogi. There's a guy who gets the maximum mileage out of the language.

                                                                              1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                I hear/tell it was Toots Shore's in New York. Toots was once asked his favorite recipe for chili: "Open up a couple cans of chili---mighty good!'

                                                                          2. Also, we should never say "the alcohol" or "the alfalfa" because the "al-" part already means "the", right?

                                                                            All languages are full of quirky little mistakes and imperfections. That's what's so great about them.

                                                                            People are always looking for reasons to consider others' opinions less valuable. That's what's so awful about them.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                              I don't believe that's the breakdown of the word "alcohol" (isn't it based on alkyls or something?). I used to feed my horses alfalfa but I don't know its English origin. But I would say that something that has changed, if these have, over hundreds of years is quite a bit different than saying "with au jus." I wouldn't consider someone's opinion less valuable but it would be a tad fingernail-on-the-blackboard-ish.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                It and alfalfa are actually from arabic. I think the al- prefix mes best or best of. Alfalfa come from al-fash-fash which basically means "best of fodders (things you feed animals, like horses)". Alcohol comes from al-kohl "best of kohls" (an black arseinide of antimony, one popular as an eye makeup. and orginaly simply meant a distillate done with heat so tecnically alchol as we undersantd it isnt reduntant it's insufficent (back when it was still a new idea it often was called "alcohol of wine")

                                                                                1. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                  I guess not all "al"s share the same etymology. Al Capone liked his alcohol neat and his pasta al dente.

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                    Then there was Al Coholic and his band, the DTs.

                                                                                  2. re: jumpingmonk

                                                                                    Al- or ul- in Arabic is just "the". You are right about the etymological relation between "alcohol" and "kohl" as in eyeliner, though.

                                                                                2. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                  "Al" is the definite article in Arabic. It is not, however, redundant to say "the alcohol", because the Arabic word is "al-kuhl". "Alcohol" is an English word. Once a word or term is assimilated to a language, it has a distinct meaning within that language, and functions by the grammatical rules of that language.

                                                                                3. Blame it on the great number of places that serve dishes "...with au jus sauce".

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: hannaone

                                                                                    But that would actually be correct (sort of), if they made the sauce with the jus.