The wiener and its warming (and the OED)

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Oct 31 17:21:48 UTC 2011

So:  At least a part of the problem with the OED entry for "wiener" is its use of "barbecue" in the sense of 'a party' (barbecue n.4.b).

I think we have an American regional issue here (though DARE omits it):  In northernish parts, one can barbecue wieners or hamburger patties or chicken breasts for a few minutes on a barbecue, which could be a small grill on the deck, and drop-in neighbors can then join in a barbecue.  In more southern places, what is barbecued would be whole carcasses or substantial cuts of flesh or fowl (as specified in the OED entry), cooked and smoked for some hours in a larger structure containing coals or low flames, and an occasion called a barbecue would be a more elaborate festive gathering, typically with dozens in attendance.

And while we're on the subject:  the OED should include the spelling "barbeque," which garners upwards of 6 million Google hits, and which Wikipedia labels a "common spelling variant" (the OED gives three scattered quotations contianing the word thus spelled).


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Victor Steinbok [aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2011 2:24 AM

 b.   wiener roast n. N. Amer. a barbecue at which wieners are cooked
> and served.

A barbeque? Really? And here I thought it was just a late night campfire
activity with hot dogs skewered on sticks.

The American Dialect Society -

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