Sunday, February 17, 2013

Word of the evening: flip

Another bit of language from tonight’s Downton Abbey: Mrs. Patmore spoke of how her suitor, Mr. Tufton, was only interested in her for her cooking. He would go on and on, she said, about how he liked his pancakes flipped. No double entendres here: Mrs. Patmore was speaking literally.

The Oxford English Dictionary traces pancake back to approximately 1400. But this use of flip is a fairly new arrival:

trans. orig. and chiefly U.S. To cook by turning over on a hotplate, grill, or griddle, esp. as a job in a fast-food restaurant. Chiefly in to flip burgers.
The OED’s first citation is from the Chicago Tribune, January 21, 1913: “Unknown celebrities . . . The artist with a heart tattooed on his arm, who flips flapjacks in the window of Childs’ restaurant.”

As with last week’s stuff, American English leads the way.

Other Downton Abbey words

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