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Euphemistic Food Names

I was talking with a friend about various foods where the name doesn’t give you a clue as to what they are. In fact, if the true name was used, many people would probably never eat it. So we came up with a list of some of the things that we liked to eat but might not want to if a more descriptive title were used. I know some names started from another language, but why do some foods keep a foreign name and others don’t? The list starts benign but gets exotic quickly

Calamari – why don’t people just say squid? Octopus is never afraid to say what it is on a menu
Sweetbread – sounds like a dessert but its neither sweet nor bread
Uni – would you really want to order something called sea urchin gonads?
Rocky mountain oyster – see uni

What other names hide the origin of the food that you like to eat?

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  1. Hah! Funny you should mention calamari. About 25 years ago I was at an Italian restaurant with my extended family, and not knowing what calamari was, ordered it because I liked the name. The calamari arrived and looked like deep-fried pasta rings, so I dipped one of those suckers--so to speak--in the marinara and took a bite. Just as I was swallowing, a cousin said, "Hey, Perilagu, I didn't realize you liked squid!" Man, I was fit to bust.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Perilagu Khan

      But you loved it, right?!?!? :) Calamari (the ring type) was probably the first 'different' food I ever ate. To me it was mostly about the texture and the breading. I now prefer the tentacles and the whole ones, especially stuffed.

    2. My kids had a similar discussion years ago, and thenceforth beef was "cow" (I know, I know, but it is what it is), and pork was "pig" and venison was "deer." All for verisimilitude in that we call chicken "chicken."

      Personally, I'm okay one way or the other as far as euphemism or not goes. I generally know what I am eating. I do know a lot of folks that need the euphemism, though. A family member loves my "giblet" gravy at Thanksgiving, but would gag if that same gravy were described as being made with gizzard, heart and neck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cayjohan

        My boyfriend is a hunter. One fall early in our relationship, I mentioned that I was making venison something-or-other, and he said, "What is venison?"

        It's just "deer" around here. Apparently I'm a fancy-pants. :p

        Giblet turns me off just as much as anything. Maybe if I tried your gravy I'd be converted, but I have yet to touch any of those bits. (Boyfriend, on the other hand, just bought three packages of gizzards yesterday....)

      2. Boudin noir (of which I happily ate hundreds of pounds as child)...more kid-friendly title than blood sausage.

        9 Replies
        1. re: pinehurst

          In a similar vein, I've always thought headcheese would get more cred if it didn't have such an unfortunate name. Even the term "brawn" doesn't seem more appetizing, nor the relatively obscure (but known to my regional ethnic group) "syltty" or "sylte" or the like.

          Such a good cold cut; such an off-putting name to many.

          1. re: cayjohan

            TRUE. Headcheese is lovely, and you're right.

            1. re: pinehurst

              Here in New Zealand, what you call headcheese we call brawn, and blood sausage is black pudding. Great euphemisms both.

              In a form of reverse euphemism, there is a popular slice made with raisins sandwiched between pastry that we call 'fly cemeteries' because it looks like a pile of dead flies!

              1. re: Billy33

                In what way is 'brawn' a euphemism? It's an old English word, derived from a German word for 'flesh, muscle'. Headcheese looks like an imitation of the French name.

            2. re: cayjohan

              Well said! My dad loved it, and I was a late convert due to nomenclature issues. On the other hand, "pickled pigs feet" turned out to be completely, absolutely literal. And vile, in my view.

              1. re: monfrancisco

                But call them "pickled trotters" and they sound cute! ;-)

                1. re: monfrancisco

                  A favorite restauranteur makes all manner of things from 'pig parts," including feet. Most recently he made cotechina stuffed in pig feet skin. Fabulous.

              2. re: pinehurst

                Boudin is simply its name in French. Are you from North Andover, Mass.? Aren't there a lot of people of French origin there, once working in the mills?

                1. re: lagatta

                  Good point, but the literal translation gives no hint as to what "mystery" ingredient is.

              3. Not a food I like to eat, but I'd point out that a dish of "milt" is much more appetizing than a bowl of fish sperm. From my own tradition, I'm a fan of chicharon bulaklak (trans. "pork rind blossoms"), the mesentery surrounding a pig's intestines.

                1. This is the opposite, maybe, but-- Bakers' chocolate. As a greedy little kid, I figured that must be the good kind. Of course, my mom was (momentarily) baffled when she went to make brownies and a square was missing. And it only happened once.

                  1. When I was five I was at a friends house and her mother offered us a tartine. I was so excited thinking that I was going to get a little pie covered in cream and all I got was a piece of toast. I have never been so disappointed.

                    1. Sea cucumber. Fish maw. Blood pudding. Offal.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: tomishungry

                        I think offal is truth in advertising for most people. Just say it out loud and that's what a lot of people think. I love most offal though.

                        1. re: tomishungry

                          Had sea cucumber in Barcelona about a year ago. Amazing.

                        2. Veal. Somehow dead baby cow is a little too...... Real.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            You do of course know about the Anglo-Saxon origin of English names for livestock and the Norman names of meats? Pour moi, un veau, c'est bien le petit de la vache. Kate and Anna McGarrigle wrote a song about a sad vache crying out for her veau, who was taken from her...

                          2. The Chinese call chicken feet "phoenix claws". Otherwise I find that they do not seem to do much to hide the origins of their animal parts using different names.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: vil

                                True, walking down the aisle at Asia Mart is an exercise in honesty in advertising.

                              2. You are actually eating uni roe (eggs) not the gonads. Uni is the Japanese word for the creature "sea urchin" itself.

                                And "milt" is not a euphemism for sperm but a bio fluid that contains sperm. In Japanese they avoid any notion of sperm or eggs altogether by calling cold milt the English equivalent of "white children"- shirako. Herring roe, which comes all jumbled together is called "many children"- kazunoko. And salmon roe, Japanese simply use a borrowed word from Russian- "ikura".

                                My favorite euphemism is an old Japanese one for wild boar. Although there is a proper word for wild boar in the Japanese language, for many years eating meat was prohibited under Buddhist prescript. Since the boars have always been considered pests to farmers and have always been hunted and served anyway, some clever chap came up with the idea of calling them "mountain whales". So in old time Japan, there were mountain whale restaurants.

                                Actually, the historic ban on meat eating found a hard time sticking and eventually led to a broader euphemism for meat- which because it provided nourishment and was served hot- became known as "medicinal eating". So there were medicinal eating restaurants around town as well.

                                Through the use of these euphemisms, people became more desensitized to the religious and philosophical prohibitions and this, along with other factors, helped lead to eventual revoking of the meat eating ban.

                                Also, although not used as euphemism to cover up something that is necessarily unpleasant, the word "toro" for fatty tuna, which is often incorrectly translated as "belly" is actually a shortened version of the word "torokeru" which means something like "melty".... Of course, I suppose this does sound much more enchanting than calling it "fatty tuna" in any language.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Silverjay

                                  My understanding is that uni roe is itself a euphemism. What you are eating are the sexual reproductive organs of male and female sea urchins. It isn't roe in the same way of fish roe.

                                  1. re: Bkeats

                                    Perhaps it is the gonads as an organ that produces roe. But I mean to emphasize that the word uni is the word for the creature itself.

                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                      And the uni gonads can be male or female. They taste slightly different. I had a friend cold smoke some for me about five years ago and they were in separate boxes for male and female.

                                    2. re: Silverjay

                                      Interesting about the origins for the various names in Japanese.

                                      The part about mountain whale = wild boar reminds me of the Chinese calling dog meat "fragrant meat"...

                                      1. re: vil

                                        Oh that's interesting. I wonder what dog meat is called in other Asian countries?...Japanese will call horsemeat "sakura" which means cherry blossom- presumably for the pink color.

                                      2. re: Silverjay

                                        LOVE the mountain whale story. That is fascinating.

                                      3. Maybe some people just like butchering unfamiliar words.

                                        But I think that a lot of the time, it's about marketing. what sounds better (more exotic?) to non-Italian speakers, zuppa inglese or English soup?

                                        1. I often see pulpo or pollipo on menus.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: melpy

                                            Escargot. Ugh. Not kosher anyway, but still. Eating snails?

                                            Hot dogs - ground up leftover crap. Not a dog at all.

                                            Chicken nuggets- at least most fast food varietes I've readabout recently, ground msce, bone and blood. At least 50%. Nice euphemism, though.

                                            Friend of mine likes to say that honey us bee spit.

                                            And pork Is pig meat.

                                            1. re: Miri1

                                              Are names in other languages actually "euphemisms"? I guess they could be in the literal sense of sounding better.

                                              Pork (Porc) is another in the list of Norman vs Anglo-Saxon words for meat vs livestock on the hoof.

                                              1. re: Miri1

                                                Honey is more like bee vomit than bee spit. Uh, now I don't feel so good...

                                                1. re: Miri1

                                                  So, bee spit baked pig meat = Honey baked ham? I'll have some.

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    bee vomit baked, chemical filled pig meat = Honey baked ham

                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                      ok if we are going to go there i will see your bee vomit and raise you ..Chicken period. ..because after alll isnt that what eggs are?

                                                      1. re: girloftheworld

                                                        That doesn't make any sense. Eggs are ova, not uterine lining.

                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                          but the eggs are shed with the lining unless ferltalized....wellllll in mamals....I knoooooow it is not techinallllllly exaclly alike but if you think about it ...an egg is a potential chicken like a...nevermind

                                                  2. re: Miri1

                                                    I don't speak French but isn't escargot simply French for snails? That doesn't seem like a euphemism to me. I do, however, get annoyed with people who feel always obliged to use a non-English word to describe something easily understood in English. Especially here on CH which is an English-language site.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Yes, "escargot" simply means snail.

                                                      I think using "escargots" in English is a reference to a classic French dish made with snails.

                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                        Well, yeah. I'm not going to say "The escargots ate my hostas." :)

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Me neither, but I might very well say "Ces maudits escargots ont bouffé mes hosties d'hostas!" (Hostie is a Québécois curse, pertaining to Catholic Mass like many local swear-words). Slugs are "limaces" in French.

                                                2. Conch in Mexico is called caracol. Sounds exotic and somewhat mellifluous, but the word means snail.
                                                  In my youth I ordered squab at the Chilton Club in Boston because it was the cheapest thing on the menu. My hostess asked me if I really wanted pigeon for dinner, so I got a do-over.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    Squab! I forgot that one. Shows up in fancy places but no one would order it if it said pigeon. Would remind everyone of what Ed Koch called them.

                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                      Maybe no one in North America, but it's all over menus in South China (and Egypt)

                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                        Actually squabs are very young pigeons. So they're similar but not the same. Like lamb and mutton.

                                                    2. I do say squid. I grew up in San Diego, CA where it is/was a fairly "normal" food. Everyone I knew called it squid.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                                        I call it squid when I'm speaking English too. Calmar when speaking French, etc.

                                                        Another oddity, not really a euphemism, is the English use of "chèvre" to refer to fresh, mild goat's cheese. In French, "une chèvre is a nanny goat, and "le chèvre" = le fromage de chèvre, is the cheese produced from her milk. But any kind of cheese, hard or soft, mild or matured.

                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                          Our local producer specifically calls it "fresh chèvre". I think all of their aged varieties have specific names. I would guess it's just so we silly folk don't get confused when trying to buy cheese?

                                                          Ah, no. I just looked at their page. They do just call it chevre (unaccented). Their other varieties are:

                                                          Esmontian (Raw farmstead goat's milk tomme, aged for a minimum of 120 days, bathed in a viognier vinegar brine)

                                                          Crottin d'Albemarle (Pasteurized goat's milk bloomy rind tower, made in the style of a crottin d' chavignol)

                                                      2. I don't think beef, pork, or veal are actually euphemisms. Every English-speaker knows what they are. Equally, beef does not equal cow. Likewise chicken does not equal "a chicken." The fact that they originate from Norman French doesn't make them any less Engllish at this point; "chair" and "boy" are also words of Norman French origin; does that mean we don't have words for those things in English? No.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Wawsanham

                                                          They are euphemisms in the sense that they are genteel abstractions from the reality of the living animal; though we all do indeed know what they mean, they refer to something hanging in a larder or on a plate, not a grazing or frolicking creature. Reflecting, as my English teacher insisted, the class structure and division of experience in Norman-occupied England, I'm sure!

                                                          Though once I had a 25-year-old student (city slicker) who I SWEAR actually said to me, regarding a discussion of First Amendment religious expression in animal sacrifice, "Is that where all this meat comes from? Animals??!"

                                                          1. re: Sarah Perry

                                                            Yes, those words are utterly English now and have been for centuries. But the Anglo-Saxon peasants reared the cows and the Norman lord got the best parts...

                                                          1. Re sweetbreads, from wiki: "The word "sweetbread" is first attested in the 16th century, but the etymology of the name is unclear.[4] "Sweet" is perhaps used since the thymus is sweet and rich-tasting, as opposed to savory-tasting muscle flesh.[5] "Bread" may come from brede, "roasted meat"[6] or from the Old English brǣd ("flesh" or "meat")."

                                                            I thought uni was roe but I've not had it so maybe not.

                                                            I actually LOVE and have cooked calf testicles. Not sure I've ever seen them on a menu.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              I see lamb testicles all the time at Middle-Eastern and North African butcher's hereabouts.

                                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                                And at those butchers, you're very likely to hear them euphemistically called lamb "eggs."

                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                  or, as they are frequently featured on "Chopped", lamb fries. Totally do NOT understand where that came frome

                                                            2. Squid in Italian is calamari, and even the Turkish word is similar. The odd word out is "squid." Where did *that* come from? :-) Outside the U.S., corn is "maize" and wheat is "corn."

                                                              "Steak" is a non-descriptive word - what part of the animal's anatomy is scientifically called steak? "Chop" doesn't describe any part of the beast either. A "Boston butt" is from the front of the pig, not the rear. And so on.

                                                              You just have to learn the lingo, or ask if you don't know it.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                  The word "corn" originally meant only a grain.

                                                                  Following from Online Etymology Dictionary:
                                                                  "Locally understood to denote the leading crop of a district. Restricted to the indigenous "maize" in America (c.1600, originally Indian corn, but the adjective was dropped), usually wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland, while Korn means "rye" in parts of Germany" http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?t...

                                                                  1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                    Germany. But it's spelled Korn, like the crappy-ass band.

                                                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                        You and your friendly hobo on the bench.

                                                                2. Speaking of corn and beef; corned beef.
                                                                  Yeah, salting with 'corns' of salt, but still.

                                                                  Plenty of fish have have had their names changed for marketing...orange roughy used to be called slimehead, etc.

                                                                  Shit-on-a-shingle doesn't sound very appetizing. Scrapple sounds just about right - kinda between brawn and headcheese as cayjohan mentions.

                                                                  Guanciale sounds better than cured pig cheek and the above mentioned cotechino sounds nicer than "skin sausage".

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: porker

                                                                    I think we're back to the point about calling a food by its "native' name doesn't really constitute a euphemism. Guanciale (and pancetta, for that matter) are merely elaborations on the names of generic mammalian body parts (guancia=cheek, pancia/pancetta=belly).

                                                                    One could argue that cotechino is somewhat less transparent, with the root lining up, more or less, with "rind" or "hide", but I don't think either of those meanings is particularly obfuscatory.

                                                                  2. Pope's Nose (aka chicken butt)

                                                                    Chilean sea bass (Patagonia toothfish)

                                                                    Mahi Mahi (dolphinfish)

                                                                    Lamb fries (lamb testicles)

                                                                    Cowboy caviar (bull testicles)

                                                                    Black pudding (blood sausage)

                                                                    Head cheese (who really needs to know)

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      Usn't cowboy caviar some kind of marinated corn and/ or bean salad? Or am I thinking of something else?

                                                                      1. re: Miri1

                                                                        You are correct. Ipse is a bit of a rhinestone cowboy...:)

                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          You guys are thinking of the wrong type of "cowboy"

                                                                    2. At the supermarket the other day I almost fell over laughing when I saw packs labeled 'chicken paws' in the referigerated meat case. I have no idea why they couldn't just label them 'chicken feet.'

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: janmcbaker

                                                                        Reminds me of "duck claws" on Chinese restaurant menus. Probably a matter of translation.

                                                                        1. re: porker

                                                                          got my niece to eat an oyster by calling it mermaid food

                                                                      2. Hmmm..
                                                                        Hamburgers- no ham involved
                                                                        Spotted dick
                                                                        Bubble and squeak
                                                                        Sheppard's pie
                                                                        Toad in the hole

                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                        1. re: salsailsa

                                                                          The "hamburgers" one is easy. It comes from Hamburg Steak. Has nothing to do with ham. Also, Sheppard's pie has nothing to do with Mr. Sheppard, but rather Shepherds who apparently ate it.

                                                                          1. re: Tripeler

                                                                            Exactly what cut is a hamburg steak?

                                                                            I guess my thing about Sheppard's pie is that it doesn't really fit with the "pie" concept.

                                                                              1. re: salsailsa

                                                                                A fish pie and a cottage pie are similar. Pot pies also sometimes only seal the top, though pastry in that case, unlike the potatoes in the shepherd's, fish and cottage pies.

                                                                                There are, of course, also lamb, beef and fish pies with crust surrounding the protein.

                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                  What about squab pie? There's no poultry in the UK version (mutton and apples)
                                                                                  http://www.allbritishfood.com/glouces...

                                                                                  http://www.everythingpies.com/history...

                                                                                  Medieval pies were called coffins. The crust was often thick, protecting the contents, and not very edible. The modern burial box gets its name from these pies.

                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    The french name for passenger pigeon is tourte, a bird commonly baked into pies in 1800s Quebec, thus "tourtiere".
                                                                                    The savory tourtiere is alive and well in Quebec, but theres no longer pigeon in it (usually pork or beef).

                                                                                    1. re: porker

                                                                                      Quebec has its own version of shepherds/cottage pie, pâté chinois. And it is different from the French equivalent, hachis Parmentier.

                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                        ...and euphemistically, it has nothing to do with the Chinese either.

                                                                                2. re: salsailsa

                                                                                  A "hamburg steak" is just an old name for what we now call a hamburger, though back when the term was in use, the hamburger was more likely to be served on a plate than in a bun. Similar in concept to Salisbury steak.

                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                    Kind of off-topic...we were in small town France and I had ordered a bucket of mussels. Not big on seafood, Mrs. Poker chose an item from their daily special board, "Hamburger Americaine". Well, something was lost in translation or interpretation - she received sauteed ground beef in a crepe. I still tease her once in awhile, asking in my best Steve Martin's Clouseau "Would you like an amburger americaine?"

                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                      Except Salisbury steak was a low-carb health food promoted by a Dr Salisbury (in Civil War days). In WW1, the German sounding 'hamburg' fell out of favor, reviving the Dr's name (though not his recipe).

                                                                                      http://forums.egullet.org/topic/13906...

                                                                              2. Chicken feet in the frig use to freak out my friends. But they are delicious and really add to soup...I would scream back.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  Just saw a bunch of feet, along with necks, at my Latino market. Need to inventory my freezer for how I stand on stock. Also saw turkey tails.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    Turkey tails are deep fried and are very fatty. They are popular in the south and are available at Housewives Market in downtown Oakland. Yummmmy !

                                                                                    1. re: nasigoreng

                                                                                      Mmm, frying? Maybe I could smoke some also. They came five or six to a pack.

                                                                                      1. re: nasigoreng

                                                                                        I've never seen turkey tails at a market. I can just imagine them deep fried. Yummy, fatty, goodness! I'm getting all excited just thinking about it.

                                                                                  2. I'm getting this thread mixed up with the 'by any other name' thread.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      I hadn't seen that one. I don't think Chowhounds are among the most euphemistic of eaters.

                                                                                    2. Canola oil. It's actually rapeseed oil, but when Canada started promoting it they decided that the name sounded too off-putting, so they renamed it canola (CAN from Canada, OLA for the sound of it, similar to crayola, victrola, etc). I believe that like those other olas, it started out as a trademark and eventually became generic.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                        I believe the original rapeseed oil is toxic and was used for industrial and non-food items. A variety of rapeseed was developed that gave non-toxic (i.e., edible) oil, and was named canola, to distinguish it from the inedible variety.

                                                                                        1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                                                                          It is low erucic acid and low glucosinolate rapeseed. Glucosinolates are bitter tasting. Botanically it is Brassica napus - in the mustard/cabbage family, and the English name comes from the Latin for turnip.

                                                                                          Leaves and stems are edible, sold as 'yao choy' and 'sagg' (India)

                                                                                          The Wiki article on mustard oil (used in India) claims that erucic acid was thought to be toxic due to some rat studies, but apparently that's a issue for rats but not humans.

                                                                                      2. Some of this is Florida centric or has been mentioned above. I am too lazy to edit.

                                                                                        Foie Gras fatty goose liver
                                                                                        Whisky Brown stuff
                                                                                        Rum See whisky
                                                                                        Dolphin Mahi mahi
                                                                                        Flounder any flat fish
                                                                                        Florida scallops rounds punched from a sting ray
                                                                                        Grouper Chinese catfish

                                                                                        For some reason, the spacing between term and definition did not take. My bad.
                                                                                        Lardo Pig fat
                                                                                        Manatee speed bumps for boats
                                                                                        the other white meat
                                                                                        Squirrel Tree rats
                                                                                        Hearts of Palm Swamp cabbage
                                                                                        Snapper Tilapia
                                                                                        Pompano See snapper
                                                                                        Musgo night Empty the fridge of leftovers
                                                                                        Tea Sweetened ice tea
                                                                                        Crayfish Mudbugs
                                                                                        Sushi Bait
                                                                                        Dinner Meal served after church and before dark
                                                                                        Snotty Eggs sunny side up
                                                                                        Scotch Good brown stuff
                                                                                        Cognac great brown stuff
                                                                                        Rocket fuel At least 6 different bottom shelf bottles.
                                                                                        Jungle juice Rocket fuel with citrus juice
                                                                                        Cocktail time It must be 5 o'clock somewhere

                                                                                        1. In addition to "Black Pudding" (blood sausage) mentioned above, I'm pretty sure that "Chilean Sea Bass" is a concerted rebranding to avoid saying Patagonian Toothfish.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                            But is black pudding a euphemism?

                                                                                            Taking 'pudding' as an old name for sausage, something stuffed in a sausage skin, then 'black' is just a good description as 'blood'. There is, after all, such a thing as 'white pudding', with similar ingredients, but no blood. Cooked blood is black.

                                                                                            The French term, boudin noir, also uses the color. The German and Polish names refer to the grain that makes up the bulk of the sausage (groats or buckwheat). The blood is a binder, adding color and flavor.

                                                                                            I suspect American think of 'blood pudding' as a euphemism simply because they are not very familiar with it. We don't eat blood because we are squeamish city folks.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              You might be right about the American/British divide. Black pudding is in fact not a term (nor barely even an item) to be encountered in the USA. Meanwhile, for all I know, maybe everyone in Britain knows already that black pudding is blood sausage, in which case euphemism is not operative.

                                                                                          2. Probably. Not a true euphemism, but "Welsh rarebit/rabbit". I was so disappointed to learn it was only melted cheese on toast.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ricepad

                                                                                              RAREBIT, n. A Welsh rabbit, in the speech of the humorless, who point
                                                                                              out that it is not a rabbit. To whom it may be solemnly explained
                                                                                              that the comestible known as toad-in-a-hole is really not a toad, and
                                                                                              that _riz-de-veau a la financiere_ is not the smile of a calf prepared
                                                                                              after the recipe of a she banker.

                                                                                              http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/9...
                                                                                              Title: The Devil's Dictionary
                                                                                              Author: Ambrose Bierce

                                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                That's a bit mean - Welsh Rarebit is quite a bit tastier than cheese on toast. Especially when it's made with BEER!