frypan/frying pan

Prof. R. Sussex sussex at UQ.EDU.AU
Wed Feb 11 04:34:31 UTC 2004

I think it's generally acknowledged that loss of -ing and -ed in
prenominal modifiers is a US-inspired phenomenon: dive tender, finish
line, can fruit, etc.

In Australia there appears to be a bifurcation between "frypan" and
"frying pan". The latter is a skillet; the former an electric one,
perhaps from a product name supplied by the manufacturer of the first
popular such product. Many Australian speakers, though, deny such a
distinction and use one term or the other for both implements. I note
that MW has "frying pan" as the head entry. AmSpeech (v38, 1963),
according to OED, notes that the electric implement's launch prompted
the use of "frypan".

Is there a bifurcation like this in AmE? What is the status of
"frying pan" nowadays?

Roly Sussex


Roly Sussex
Professor of Applied Language Studies
Department of French, German, Russian, Spanish and Applied Linguistics
School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
The University of Queensland
Queensland 4072

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