Imitation or counterfeit?

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 13 06:46:24 UTC 2011

I think some people would call them fake Yangcheng Lake crab. (Victor
mentioned this possibility).

For many years there have been complaints of "fake" caviar. The term
"fake" seems to be used when a particular type of caviar is taken from
the "wrong" (aquatic) creature. The term "fake" is also used when the
caviar is harvested from the "wrong" geographic location. Here is link
to a 2009 article about using DNA sequencing to look for "fake" foods:
"Food Fraud: High Schoolers Use DNA Tests to Expose Fake Caviar:
Short link:

On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 1:34 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Imitation or counterfeit?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 10/13/2011 12:06 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>>The problem with hairy crabs is that there is outright fraud (as in the
>>other cases), so "imitation" is not quite right--"imitation crab" is not
>>fraudulently presented crab. But "counterfeit", to me, has an "Ersatz"
>>quality to it, so that does not seem quite right either. It's the same
>>issue as someone serving dogfish in place of haddock
> There is "imitation crab *meat*", where the meat is from some other
> sea creature (I won't guess).  A past and perhaps still present
> scandal.  There, and also for dogfish replacing haddock, I think
> "imitation" (imitation crab, imitation haddock) is OK.
> Joel
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