Hoagies revisited (aka Wedge)

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Thu Jun 5 15:19:16 UTC 2003

> Another contribution to our researches into food history.
> (Whatever Barry has seems to be catching.)
> A week or so ago, Larry Horn called our attention to an
> article in the NYTimes Wednesday Food section on the Hoagie.
> The article also prompted the following letter, in this
> Wednesday's paper:
> "Your article . . . and the many names for a sandwich made on
> hero bread brought to mind an experience I had in Brooklyn.
> I have lived in Yonkers all of my life, and we refer to the
> hero/hoagie/grinder/submarine as a wedge.  When I went to a
> coffee shop in Brooklyn, they had a sign listing meatballs as
> a sandwich special of the day, and I ordered a meatball wedge
> and they hadn't a clue as to what I was talking about!  Eric
> W. Schoen, Yonkers.  (NYTimes, June 4, 2003, section F, p. 8, col. 6)

Somewhere in my research on "hoagie" I turned up the fact that "wedge" is a
regionalism in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley. My notes, however,
don't contain the source for this fact. Given that, it's not surprising that
the term might be known in Yonkers but not in Brooklyn--especially nowadays
as these regionalisms seem to be dying.

Although somewhat dated now, the Eames and Robboy article has an excellent
and comprehensive overview of the different regional names for the sandwich.
Alas, they don't include "wedge."

See "The Submarine Sandwich: Lexical Variations in a Cultural Context,"
Edwin Eames; Howard Robboy American Speech, Vol. 42, No. 4. (Dec., 1967),
pp. 279-288.

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