Monday, June 15, 2015

Pick Up Some Rocket and Aubergines While You're Out!

You all no doubt know that the Brits have a slew of vocabulary terms that differ from their American counterparts despite the fact that we all speak the same language.  I remember my second grade teacher telling me that an American car's trunk is a British car's boot and that a bobby is a British police officer.  I am sure you have heard that a sweater is a jumper, an elevator is a lift, and you ring someone rather than calling them.  Cookies are biscuits, French fries are chips, and chips are crisps.

But it wasn't until I'd spent considerable time in Commonwealth countries that I realized that the produce aisle of the grocery store could be a conundrum.  Care to hazard a guess what ROCKET is?

(I particularly love the way it says WILD rocket.  It sounds so daring!)



Could you understand a menu item containing AUBERGINE?


How about CHICORY?  (And no, my New Orleans loving friends, it's not that stuff in the coffee at Cafe du Monde.)

But the strangest one in my opinion is BEETROOT.

Yes, yes,  know it's almost the same as the word beet, but here's my beef with it.  Why add the root part?  Why not just beet?  I mean, they don't say onionroot or carrotroot or turniproot.  Just beetroot.  And they're crazy about the stuff.  I've frequently seen beetroot soup, beetroot salads, and beetroot juice.  I even saw beetroot as an ingredient on a burger at McDonald's in Australia once (the McOz - seriously).

And when I ask people why they add the root part only on to the word beet, I get the same reaction every time.  They look at me quizzically and admit that the inconsistency has never occurred to them.  They unanimously agree that it doesn't make any sense at all.  One lady even told me today that when they refer to sugar beets, they don't say sugar beetroot. Go figure.  So I guess while I'm here I'll adopt the British names for things.  Because if you can't BEET 'em, join 'em, right?


  1. Love your = labels and pictures! Sounds like a foreign-ness somewhere between the markets in third world countries and an American supermarket or farmers' market. (Lanita)

    1. 1). Thanks so much! It's far more refined (and more pricey!) than markets in third world countries. I bought the most expensive cherry tomatoes on the planet grown on the aisle of Wight at last week's market. When the kids inhaled them in one sitting, I almost cried.
      2). I've decided to be mad at Google on your behalf for suggesting such an insulting nickname for you. Why wouldn't they let you use your old name from when you had a blogger account??? So annoying.