[Ads-l] "Cold meat"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 13 03:16:26 UTC 2019

"Cold meat" appears in some references. Collins Dictionary labels it
British English.

[Begin excerpt]
cold meat
in British English
(kəʊld miːt)
a form of meat that has been cooked and allowed to become cold
[End excerpt]

[Begin excerpt]
(plural cold meats)
General term for cold cooked meats such as luncheon meat or lunch
meat, spam, chopped pork, corned beef, and so on.
[End excerpt]

[Begin excerpt]
Synonyms for cold cuts
cold meats
lunch meat
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 8:26 PM Ben Yagoda <byagoda at udel.edu> wrote:
> I could use some help in solving a dialectal mystery. My wife (born 1952 in Fall River MA) refers to sliced ham, turkey, etc. that you get from the deli counter as “cold meat,” where I (born in New York City roughly the same time) would say “cold cuts.” I have never heard “cold meat” anywhere else, and she always told me it was a regionalism. I consulted Dictionary of American Regional English and found nothing for "cold meat.” Recently, at my urging, she asked the Facebook group of her high school class if anyone else said “cold meat.” No one had heard of it. That led us to hypothesize that she had gotten it either from her mother (a native of Chicago) or her father (born in Italy and migrated to the U.S. at 19).
> My next step was to pose the question on Twitter. The majority of people (including Masachusettsans and Chicagoans) had never encountered “cold meat.” There were three exceptions: one person each from Australia, central Pennsylvania, and Scotland.
> That’s where matters stood until tonight, when I was watching episode 2 of the HBO series “Watchmen.” Characters are watching a movie, set in 1938, called “American Hero Story.” There is an exterior shot of a New York grocery store, the sign of which says: “GROCERIES*FRESH PRODUCE*COLD MEATS.” I put a screen shot on Twitter: https://twitter.com/byagoda/status/1205279178913931264
> Any insight or knowledge about “cold meat”?
> Ben
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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