ODDLY NAMED BRITISH DiSHES: Have you... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Have you ever thought how some of our food gets its name?. I would think visitors to the UK would be somewhat bewildered reading some of the strange names on a menu. Of course the actual name has got to be something to do with it. SPOTTED DICK for example is always a favourite dish, particularly if served with custard. The 'spots' are fairly self -evident, whilst the word 'dick' is apparently an ancient term for pudding. How many other strange sounding food names can you think of?

161 Replies

Shepherds pie and cottage pie. Xx

RoadRunner44 in reply to sassy59

Yes, As a young child I remember saying to my mother.... Whose going to look after the sheep? I must have had a vision of the shepherd being made into a pie! Same thing with Cottage Pie.

sassy59 in reply to RoadRunner44

Yes, very strange. I like Happy Jo’s toad in the hole. What a picture that conjures up! Xxx

RoadRunner44 in reply to sassy59

Doesn't it just?

Patk1 in reply to RoadRunner44

I still enjoy these

Plum Duff - I love pudding 😀

RoadRunner44 in reply to Kimlu

Remind me..... which cartoon character ate Pum Duff?

Kimlu in reply to RoadRunner44

Oh blimey that's give me a headache lol Was it one of the Beano gang?

RoadRunner44 in reply to Kimlu

Oh I hope someone remembers, its really irritating when you just can't quite remember.

RoadRunner44 in reply to Kimlu

I may be thinking of Mc Duff from one of Shakespeare's Plays.

Kimlu in reply to RoadRunner44


emmo in reply to RoadRunner44

no, it is a child;s nursery rhyme, I cannot remember which one.

RoadRunner44 in reply to emmo

I wish I could remember where I've heard it. If you remember please please me know.

Kimlu in reply to RoadRunner44

I've been trying to remember it, no luck yet!

RoadRunner44 in reply to Kimlu

It may come to us when we least expect it. I'll post it if I remember.

Rag Pudding and Rumbledthumps :)

OMG, what are they?

Rag pudding is like mince in a suet pastry Parcel and Rumbledthumps recipe as follows:thespruceeats.com/rumbledet...


Oh, its like Bubble and Squeak but a Scottish version. Thanks skis, it looks good so I might try it out.

Jaybird19 in reply to skischool

that was interesting and not just for the names. I have cold boi led bacon tonight so pan haggety from northumberland is on the menu to try instead of the usual leek and potato pie. cant wait ! thanks skis

Pigs in blankets😱😱😱

Don't we all enjoy these with our Christmas dinner? I wonder how that name came about. Crazy!

So lovely I prefer the little extras more than the meal x

Yes, I love the extras too.

Patk1 in reply to soul-123

On a tangent..my mum in 1960s used to call her girdle to hold tum in ' little extras'

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patk1

So quaint! I'd forgotten but the word girdle is one I also remember from childhood. A more modern word for corset I believe.

Patk1 in reply to RoadRunner44

What did u call those girdle type knickers? I just cant remember x

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patk1

Pantie Girdle?

Patk1 in reply to RoadRunner44

Thats it.thanku

Jaybird19 in reply to Patk1

is it spans or spants these days . something like left that sort of thing behind , literally , years ago !

Patk1 in reply to Jaybird19


Jaybird19 in reply to Patk1

Almost there

Fatty cutties 👍

I haven't heard of those. What are they? Do you know if its a Northern dish perhaps?

Fat rascals and lardy cake. Fat rascals are a sort of scone/rock bun made famous by the gorgeous cake/tea rooms in Harrogate, York and Harlow Carr gardens called Betty's. My mum made lardy cake but other than lard, I can't remember what went in it. Will search and report back.

P.s. lardy cake is a sort of fruit bread, lots of recipes on line.

My mum made rock buns and i was just thinking bout thm the other day x

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patk1

My family made them too. I'd forgotten about them. Thanks, I'll include them on my list which continues to grow.

Patk1 in reply to RoadRunner44

My mum put currants in,did yours?Another was coconut haystacks

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patk1

Yes, thats right she did. Thinking back, I never liked them actually. Probably because they were rock hard. I dont remember coconut haystacks but we had coconut pyramids. Small sponge cakes rolled jam and coconut. Those I loved. X

Patk1 in reply to RoadRunner44

Mums were quite soft on inside.yr pyramids sound lovely.i think mum jjust added condensed milk,maybe sugar,but cant swear to it.they were gd.my dad was scottish + added salt to porridge - i still do too,as well as sweetners + honey,at times

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patk1


Fatty cutties, is an Orcadian name for a girdle scone similar to a fruit girdle scone. It took some persuading to get the recipe from my mum in law.

What are they?

What are they made of?

They’re some kind of currant bun. Now they’re made with butter but probably used to be made with lard. They’re made with fat, and you cut them into squares, kind of like a currant bun tray bake.

A bit like lardy cake perhaps?

Yes I would guess so 🍰

They sound like Cornish Hevva cake, which I have just made. Most of these things are peasant type country food, delicious but spurned by the wealthy. Often made with leftovers.Yummers..

Kate xx

Yes, many of these recipes go back in time and because of their simplicity and simple ingredients would have been used by the poorer people rather than the prosperous. I find it all so interesting though and so grateful for such a good response.

I am going to do a little more research on these old dishes as I think it would form a good basis for an interesting talk for one of my Groups.


Jugged hare

Oh yes, thats an old one from medieval times I believe.

Don't fancy eating it though

Ugh, I agree. The 500 year old recipe meant the whole hare was cooked with vegetables in a metal or earthenware pot or jug - hence the name.. ..Jugged Hare. Modern recipes sound like a hearty rabbit stew.

Didnt they use the blood as well?🤑

I believe so.

definitely had to collect it (the blood )while the poor hare was hanging. but do you eat black pudding ?


Panackety which I love. Have a goodnight and stay safe 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxx

Oh, I say, what is this? What is it made of and what part of the country is it from?

Damon1864Volunteer in reply to RoadRunner44

It's made from sliced potatoes, bacon onion seasoned well and cook in the oven until cooked with water and oxo cube if you want to add one.xxxxx

That sounds like a dish I'd enjoy.

Jaybird19 in reply to Damon1864

Is that the Pan Haggety that is in skis cook book ( spruce ) that i am going to try tonight, except m y bacon is separate boiled bacon joint sliced and cold My neighbour who does some shopping for me came back from Aldi with a special bacon joint I had asked for at 6.99 kg on aldi web site . Unfortunately the joint was not ythe usual 350 or 750 gm sizes but special for christmas and weighed 1500 gm. 1and1/2 kilo web site did not tell me that.

As I live by myself it will be a lot of boiled bacon !

Damon1864Volunteer in reply to Jaybird19

Yes but you should be able to freeze what you don't need. Have a good night and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxx

Jaybird19 in reply to Damon1864

i find that cooked meat doesnt freeze very well it gets wet when thawed . I shall cut this in half and keep half frozen . if my 21 year old freezer doesnt give up ghost completely. I defrosted it thought it had then packed up bought another but did nort realise that frost free freezers have such thick walls and it doesnt hold as much as I the old one. couldnt go out to see one physically where I would have realised the sizing being so different. so I have two at present ! maybe the new one will freeze any cooked meat better . fingers crossed

Patk1 in reply to Jaybird19

Pea and ham soup

Jaybird19 in reply to Patk1

thanks,all suggestions welcome. I think it will last months whatever I do !

Yorkshire puddings...when I was in Australia I made a roast with Yorkshire puddings and they were like ‘ oh, I thought they were a dessert.’

Ha, ha, exactly! If one didn't know what they are its understandable to assume they are a nice sweet pudding made in Yorkshire.

asthmatim in reply to madonbrew

I am Australian and take offence to that. I am also an international chef who has cooked in the UK. In particular Scotland as that is my heritage. I cooked in Yorkshire as well. Most older Aussies know about Yorkshire puddings. You must of meet with what we call bogons or low socioeconomic people. But most Aussies that I know. Have a great understanding of UK food. P.S I have also worked with Mr Gordon Ramsay. I still think that his recipe for Yorkshire puddings is better than Jamie Oliver's. I have also worked with him as well. But am still confused with the eaton mess?.

emmo in reply to asthmatim

I know my grandparents also made sweet yorkshires, chopped apple or whatever was in season.

Katinka46 in reply to asthmatim

Eton (as in the public school) mess is whipped cream mixed with crushed meringues and strawberries. Probably came about when a maid dropped a bowl of pudding and it ended up broken.

Angelagone in reply to asthmatim

Eton mess. Meringue, fruit, cream. Basically bashed up pavlova which is how it got its name. Eton is the famous school.

Didnt see Kats reply !

asthmatim in reply to asthmatim

I knew what was in it . As I have made it with Gordon Ramsay. It was more the entomology of the name. Where it came from and how it became famous as a dish. That was more my confusion.

Jaybird19 in reply to asthmatim

idont think we know either the origin of that name or the other eton puzzle the wall game .

My Nan would serve Yorkshire pudding with a thickish gravy as a starter, then serve it with the main meal and for dessert it would be served with strawberry jam 🐞

The strawberry jam bit confounded me at first. However, a member of my family used to have a stew with strawberry jam so nothing is surprising regarding food and how its served. Thanks for your reply.

Lava Bread ...,,,fried seaweed often served with cockles

RoadRunner44 in reply to knitter

Many people love this Welsh dish often served with bacon too. My family had it often for breakfast. You don't think of it as the kind of 'bread ' we are used to.

CYMROBOY in reply to knitter

I believe it's Laver Bread. Bara Lawr in Welsh ( Down Bread). A particular specie of Seaweed, not just any seaweed, preboiled before sale. An acquired taste not to my liking I'm afraid but some people love it

Welsh Rarbit I think

One of my favourite dishes soul. Lovely supper snack ... cheese on toast basically.

flies graveyard

Is that a Halloween dish. It sounds awful.

lol no its a currant slice

Gosh, these strange, odd names are amazing. What part of the country are these?

Scotland here

Fly simitries in Glesga!(or, fly cemeteries in Glasgow, if you want to be posh! 🤨 )

Where on earth did that one originate? Mind blowing.

Jaybird19 in reply to maddiemoop

theres a biscuit too with similiar name

As an example of people being named after food rather than the other way about, Liverpudlians are nicknamed scouse, a contraction of lobscouse of which there are many versions.

Wow! Thats an interesting take Don. Any more you can think of?

savoury duck, also known as faggots

I would definitely think I would be ordering a duck dish if I saw this one on the menu.

and be really upset when you got it's balls

I love faggots but they seem to gross some people out especially if American, where of course a faggot is something very different !

I haven't had a faggot for a while brains do one already made up in gravy but god knows what they have done to them they taste awful I had to ditch them

I dont know why they have to muck about with a perfectly good recipe.

Jaybird19 in reply to maddiemoop

faggots in birmingham, savoury ducks were posh

My mother used to send me to the butchers with a bottle ,to get some beef tea , just found out years later it was the juice from beef. yuck

OMG! Probably family think its good for us.

Yes I did read it was for invalids can't remember any of us kids being ill she must have liked it

In all fairness, there's probably some truth in many of the things our families did in the past. Particularly regarding medicinal things. They may not have known why they worked but found they did......Nowdays we have far more understanding of why those simple portions worked. So interesting that much of modern medicine is based on those ancient old herb remedies used to cure common ailments. Many towns now have lovely Medicinal or Physic Gardens which grow herbs . The labels on them explain how and what medical complaint they are used for.So interesting.

What a fabulous name.

Loving thies. sussex pond pudding.... suet pastry stuffed with brown sugar, butter and a hole lemon (frog) then steamed yum yum

Aingeful in reply to corriena

I saw them make Pond Pudding on Bake Off last week! Seemingly it dates back to the 17th century!

Hi, The response has been so good with you members posting all these oddly named recipes that I've decided to compile them and do a little more research. As I have a great love of History I think this topic would provide the basis for a good talk at one of my Groups.Your recipe, Sussex pond pudding sounds delicious. Thank you.

Toad in the hole

Darn it. I just had dinner and now I want to eat everything all over again after reading the responses of food names and dishes.

Worse yet now I want to cook them all then eat them.

The responses have been amazing daveh. I'm delighted and compiling a list of the names and recipes. I will also do some further research for a future talk I may give to one of my Groups.So nice to have evoked so many past memories of food on our Forum.


Buckinghamshire badger- a scrummy suet pudding with potatoes, bacon and onions. Badger were in short supply, I guess.

Great wander down memory lane, all the regional dishes I've loved.

When I was youngster my mother made 'baby's head' . It was a round pudding (like a ball) filled with meat and boiled. I dont know how she got the ball shape but I have never been able to do it.

Yet another dish with a very unusual name. I do wonder how some of these extraordinary names come about. So far I have found that many of these family recipes have come down through families throughout the ages and are often 500 years old, Fascinating and thanks for posting your reply. I think I'll keep a record of all of these recipes and do a little more research. They might be a good topic for a talk at one of my Groups.

emmo in reply to RoadRunner44

How about Ladies; fingers? delicious.

RoadRunner44 in reply to emmo

What are they? Another mind boggling name.

emmo in reply to RoadRunner44

No a lovely light biscuit, can still be bought in the shops.

Just like a dumpling maybe did it have suet

Patk1 in reply to PaulineRich

My partner calls steak & kidney pudding ' babys head'

oneeyedjack69 in reply to Patk1

That’s old kitchen slang. Zeppelins in a storm = Sausage and mashed potato.Full English breakfast = Georgie (Best). Many more.

Homity pie. It's a rich pie made in Devon and made with potatoes and veg and sometime fish. And parkin cake - a sort of big crumb ginger cake made up north for bonfire night.

I just can't believe how many odd sounding dishes there are. I've heard of Homity Pie and believe my grandmother made it. Surprising how many memories are brought to mind when reading thse replies. Thanks for posting a reply, I'm going to keep a record of all these and use the recipes as the basis for a future talk in one of my Groups.

I’ve just come across this fascinating post. I remember on my first visit to Blackburn and seeing a chippy advertising John Bulls. No clue what they were Apparently spam maybe in batter X

I have so enjoyed reading through our members responses. It has proved to be such an interesting topic. Many of these recipes with odd sounding names are many hundreds of years old and have been passed down through the families over time. The topic has also evoked many members memories of food from their childhood. It has encouraged me to compile a list of these recipes and do a little more research. Who knows where it will lead me.


Did you see Pond pudding on Paul Hollywood’s. Pies and Puds programme? It was also on bake off with a different name x

We will all be thinking about these unusual named recipes from now on I think.No I didn't watch that programme but I will be very aware of any odd sounding ones from now on.


My dad used to make these! Delicious but terribly bad for you. Never heard them called John Bulls though, just spam fritters.

as a child our local fish and chips had Scallops - not as we know scallops but soft roes between 2 slices of potato then battered . my favourite I think they were a penny each !

Faggots & peas 😁

dickinson1954 in reply to shouty

A favourite of mine and my dad. X

In Yorkshire at the fish & chip shop we used to have fish called "Woof" and "Skate" as a change from Cod and Haddock

How funny! It gets stranger and stranger.

One that I didn’t see was Starry Gazey Pie a fish pie where the head of the fish protrude through the pastry crust. Literally gazing at the sky. You will find this in Cornwall, not so much these days but worth seeking out. Oll an gwella as we say.

Yes, I have heard of this one. Strange name though

I have lived in Cornwall now for 37 years and still haven't tried it

You should, you really should. You’ve had Hevva cake and saffron buns I assume. On another group a furious wrangle ensues. On a scone or split. What goes first cream or jam? That’ll run and run ‘til the cows come home. Oll an gwella.

yes love hevva cake and splits but don't like saffron buns and cream goes first

Stargaze pie

Bubble and squeak

Corned beef hash & bread and dripping

Both of these i remember my mother and grandmother making. When my mother was preparing the Sunday roast I remember being allowed to dip a piece of bread in the beef dripping from the roasting tin. I can taste it now. Delicious! Oh to get those days back.

A very entertaining subject RR44. Thank you for posting, thoroughly enjoyed the replies. All the best on your research. Carol xxx

Why thank you HollyBoyd. I, too have thoroughly enjoyed the replies. The subject obviously hit a note of accord and I'm glad it caused so much fun and interest. I have acquired a lot of information and knowledge from it and will definitely do more research on such a fascinating subject.So yes, the replies have inspired me to do something more with the information posted. I love history of all kinds and this particular topic fits in nicely with that.

Cheers and best wishes.

Tittieoggies. Corn beef, potatoe, onion made into rissole, covered in breadcrumbs and fried. A childhood favourite. I think it's a Suffolk name but not sure.

Drop scones

We forgot the Haggis and scotch eggs.

Of course! Can't stop you now!

I remember being told a story about a young american who made scotch eggs but left the shell on.😂

I miss Pan Yan Pickle

The evasiveness of the meat industry is legend.Consumers don't like the idea of chicken legs so the industry calls then 'drumsticks'.We also have Gordon's and many others.

RoadRunner44 in reply to alunrob

I hadn't thought about that alunrob but yes, drumsticks do sound nicer than chicken legs. A crafty move there no doubt. If you think of any other crafty moves let me know, quite thought provoking.

alunrob in reply to RoadRunner44

Hello rr44.Thanks for reply.All the best.

Posset is another one, lemon milk, cream

Syllabub much the same I can’t remember which ones had egg in them

Gypsy tart, yummy

Thanks for taking the time to reply judes, particularly as you've had a pretty rough time lately. I think many people have enjoyed this odd named food topic including myself. I have started making a list of all these food dishes an d will be doing more research. I have a great interest in history and food dishes from the past is one I've been keen to explore for a while.You mention ' posset'. Apparently this started out in the 17th century and has evolved through the years. I believe I remember my grandmother making something called this for my grandad who was ill. I always associated it from then on with being something given to ill people. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of being able to remember a happy time in my childhood.

Take things easy when you get home and don't do anything I wouldn't do!!!!

Cheers xxx

have you heard of chitterlings ? in the middle of birminham was a shop selling all sorts of offal . there must have been lots of strange names in that shop. Chitterlings were boiled intestines. they were looped over racks hanging from the ceilings ( like sheilas used for drying washing ) I dont know any more than that and cannot remember eating them as such. we ate a lots of things in wartime that we dont eat now. brains on toast are lovely. cattle and sheep had natural food i those days and no CZ- jacob disease . I have eaten chitterlings since . On holiday in a greek island a few years ago there were two tavernas and they competed. So it was a special night and I saw the food being prepared. They had metal spikes like swords for the kebabs, about 3 foot long with various bits of mainly offal speared on it and being wrapped round and round were these white, thin white " elastic " lengths coiled up im a bowl . Well I went to dinner that night with some trepidation. they were gorgeous, the intestines had melted and turned crispy . there was a sailing group in that night . I bet they didnt know what they were eating. it doesnt pay to ask sometimes

Yes, I've heard of chittering but didn't know what they were. Now I know I won't be trying any soon. I'll add this one to my list thank you.

I doubt you could find chitterlings these days. when I left home in 1960 's I wanted to cook some brains but no one sold them you will have a really interesting list are you going to write a book ?

I have been delighted with the response from members on HU and have done some more research. My original intention was to make a list of these food names to form the basis of an interesting talk for my WI Group. But, taking into account the interest shown by the members who replied it could also be an interesting book. I'll have to see where I go from here.Thanks again

Sweetbreads! Google it! 'Stovies' my Scottish brother-in-law used to cook this - need beef sausages, potatoes, onion, all chopped mixed with gravy and cooked on the stove! Cock-a-leekie soup, warming soup served on Burns night so I'm told. Mulligatawny soup. Sally Lunns a kind of bath bun speciality of a cafe in Bath called Sally Lunns! My husband said wurzels - Swedes - as we in Wiltshire are called! Lol!

RoadRunner44 in reply to Annie31

My list continues to grow. Thank you Annie31

Annie31 in reply to RoadRunner44

Just remembered Tripe (cows stomach - my gran used to cook it in milk, absolutely revolting!!)

RoadRunner44 in reply to Annie31

Thanks Annie x

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