Fwd: "cheeseburger slider"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 22 01:43:55 UTC 2012

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Date: December 21, 2012 8:30:18 PM EST
> Subject: Re: "cheeseburger slider"
> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> On Dec 21, 2012, at 5:12 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>> On Dec 21, 2012, at 4:56 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>> On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 12:28 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Here in PA, a "slider" is _a tiny hamburger_, perhaps even smaller than
>>>> a White Castle hamburger, but *far* less delicious.
>>> All right, then:
>>> "a tiny _burger_"
>> I don't know.  Does a lobster roll (on mini-bun) count as a tiny burger?  Or a tuna tartare slider?   Not burgery enough for my threshold; the bun does not the burger make, tiny or otherwise.  Moral:  Size matters, but if it ain't the meat, it's the ocean, all bets are off.
> I can't parse the moral

Sorry, a perhaps over-obscure reference to (or take-off on) the duelling proverbs "Size matters" and "It ain't the meat, it's the motion."

> , but FWIW, there are lobster burgers, shrimp burgers, clam burgers (and clamburgers), shark fin burgers and uni burgers. And you can substitute "slider" and find Google images of "lobster sliders" and more.

I find at least some of these a stretch.  Veggie burger yes, if there's a patty shaped basically like a hamburger, and fish burger (a.k.a. filet o' fish).  But I'd never think of calling a lobster roll (with chopped lobster mixed with mayo) a lobster burger, regardless of the bun.  I had a
"Masala burger" tonight (ingredients: potatoes, carrots, green beans, bread crumbs, bell peppers, onions, etc.), and I've had salmon burgers, but always involving a patty of some kind.  If it's smoked salmon and capers on a "slider" roll (mini-bun), it can be a slider but not, I would maintain, a burger.  Gotta draw the line somewhere.

> Is a burger a sandwich with a round top? (I'm sure exceptions can be found…)

Not definitionally, I'd say: not every round-top sandwich is a burger (see above) and not every burger has a round top (there are square ones).  But canonically, yes.


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