The sushi experience

Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 4 14:56:41 UTC 2011

It might be noted that a few of these are special terms only for sushi, e.g.
"agari" specifically means tea when it is served with sushi, and is not the
normal word for tea (o-cha) in Japanese.  There is also "shari" (sushi rice)
and gari (pickled ginger).


On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 3:26 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at>wrote:

> In 2000, an episode of Friends (
> has Ross claiming he has
> "unagi," a special awareness, and Rachel says she thinks that's sushi
> (perhaps says it's eel). Although it might be hard to draw a line, a number
> of sushi dishes are well known in English by their Japanese names as this
> Friends episode demonstrate, and people use the Japanese when discussing
> sushi.
> The OED has maguro and toro, though the AHD has neither.
> The entire list at
> ought not to be added, but surely at least the following are common
> enough among softcore eaters as to merit consideration (I checked the OED
> for the more popular of these, but not all):
> unagi - freshwater eel
> anago - saltwater eel
> uni - sea urchin gonads
> tai - seabream snapper
> sake ('sah keh)/shake ('shah keh) - salmon
> otoro (ootoro) - the fattiest part of the toro
> chutoro (chuutoro) - the next most fatty part of the toro
> ebi - shrimp
> amaebi - sweet shrimp (which should probably be added as well); Pandalus
> borealis served raw, often served with the cooked head
> tako - octopus (which perhaps deserves an entry as pulpo from Spanish)
> ika - cuttlefish
> ikura (from Russian икра/ikra) - salmon roe
> tobiko - flying fish roe
> gobo (goboo - 牛蒡) - burdock root
> tamago - a sort of egg omelette similar to tamago-yaki, but sweeter and
> probably containing dashi
> umeboshi - pickled ume (a fruit which should probably be entered as a
> separate entry), often called a "pickled plum"
> agari - hot green tea served after the meal
> atsukan - hot sake
> nigiri/onigiri - a single piece of sushi formed with rice and something on
> top
> temaki - a hand roll
> maki sushi - a roll. The OED has "maki zushi," but do English speakers
> really voice the "s" voiced as in Japanese?
> kaiten sushi/kaitenzushi - the sort of sushi shop where the sushi comes
> around on a conveyor belt - I don't think I've heard non-Japanese people use
> this word, but what do they call it? Wikipedia (
> says "conveyor belt
> sushi," "sushi go-round" and "sushi train" (Aus).
> sushi boat - a boat-like dish used for serving sushi
> American sushi ( (the OED has
> California roll as a draft addition that appears slated to not be an
> independent entry):
> Philadelphia roll - with cream cheese
> spicy tuna roll - not on the Wiki page, but this seems to be common, made
> sometimes or always with Vietnamese fish sauce
> spider roll - with soft-shell crab
> kudasai - please give me. Questionable because its use represents speaking
> Japanese, but perhaps worthwhile along the lines of "buon appetito" or "s’il
> vous plaît."
> hashi (common in Hawai'i)/ohashi - chopsticks
> Aloha from Maui
> Benjamin Barrett
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

Randy Alexander
Xiamen, China
Manchu studies:
Chinese characters:
Language in China (group blog):

The American Dialect Society -

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