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Sadia Islam
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Why are the British confused about us calling bread rolls “biscuits” when they call bread rolls “puddings”?

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(Why I darest say, they darest not get offended when they so indeed have examples that violate their own use and nomenclature!) IE: pudding as a specific dessert, puddings as a general term for desserts. Calling something a Yorkshire pudding that is not a pudding and not a dessert.

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  1. Most British people understand that the English and American English have drifted slightly away, so that we have different definitions of words.

    Now, to the British people who insists our naming is incorrect, they need to understand that our language is not the same. Please don’t try to tell me that we speak the same language, because in all honesty we don’t. However, our languages are incredibly similar.

  2. Calling a bread roll a “biscuit” really takes the biscuit. The word comes from French, meaning “twice cooked” (bis – cuit). Are bread rolls twice cooked? Of course modern biscuits aren’t twice cooked either but they were originally.

    As far as I know no Briton calls a bread roll a pudding, though we do call them lots of other things in different parts of the country, e.g. Baps, Stotties, Buns, Rolls, Bin Lids, Cobs, Batches, Bulkies, Barms, Teacakes, Butties, Nudgers and Blaas (not a complete list).

  3. We aren’t, and we don’t. You are misinformed.

    In Britain, the word ‘biscuit’ means a hard baked cookie, like a graham cracker. Since this is the normal use of this word in the UK, we don’t automatically think of the plain scone-type baked goods for which Americans use the word ‘biscuit’. US English is a different dialect of English, and there are many words which have different meanings from U.K. English (jumper, braces, suspenders, tap etc.)

    What on earth makes you think we call bread rolls ‘puddings’? In the U.K., pudding is any dessert, not just the blancmange-stuff which Americans use that word for. It is correct in the U.K. to say “I’m having apple pie for pudding.”.

  4. I have never heard a British person EVER call a bread roll a `pudding`.

    We DO have arguments….mostly of a regional nature. I`ve heard bread rolls called both baps and barmcakes, for instance. But never, ever, a `pudding`. You are misinformed.

    Or perhaps you are confusing the term with something else…dessert, afters, or whatever you call the sweet course in the US.

    I have many times had a nice scone for pudding. `Pudding `being a common ( if now dated) term used for the second course. It is not the name of the confectionary itself, though, but an indication that it follows the main, usually savoury, course.

  5. They might be as confused as to why you keep calling pudding “biscuits”.

    Step out of your own cultural context for a minute. You do not own English, and there is no reason that the way it is used elsewhere should be understandable to you, or vice versa. If anyone had rights to the language, for that matter, it sort of makes sense that it would be English people, right?

    But that doesn’t really matter. English is the first language of millions of people around the globe, and the second language of maybe billions. Not only each disparate group out there using it, but actually each person within each group uses it differently. This is the nature of language–it is dynamic. It grows, evolves, regionalizes, incorporates words from other languages, and changes to meet unique cultural context.

    It is not the role of English people to account to you for their use and understanding of their own language.