"APP": a new (?) meanaing

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 3 16:35:08 UTC 2013

On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 12:15 PM, Charles C Doyle wrote:
> I noticed over the weekend that TV ads for Appleby's restaurants use "app" to
> mean 'appetizer' (possibly intending also a play on the name of the Appleby's chain).
> Does "app" as an abbreviation for "appetizer" occur elsewhere? (It's hard to search.)
> Will it now find its way into the general lexicon?

It's already fairly common, and not just at Appleby's. Not recent
either: a Jan. 19, 1989 Boston Globe review of Latacarta restaurant in
Peterborough, N.H. mentions an appetizer called "Sea Cap's App," and a
Nov. 20, 1992 article in Restaurant Business quotes Elka Gilmore,
executive chef at Elka Restaurant in San Francisco, as saying, "If
tempura's not our number-one app, then it's a close second."

It's possible that Appleby's is capitalizing on the similarity of
"app" to its brand name, much as the 'computer application' kind of
"app" has been a handy term for Apple:


(I mention the 'appetizer' meaning in that column.)


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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