October 14, 2014
You say potato cake, I say potato scallop
Here in Australia recent days have seen an intense online battle being waged over a significant linguistic regional variation of Australian English: the names for a disc of deep-fried potato.
They say the internet is a powerful tool. Well, we saw its power on display as #scallopwar played out on Twitter.
Generally speaking, Australian English doesn’t have a great deal of regional variation, so it seems we are expressing our strong state-and-territory-based allegiances via lexical items given to much-loved childhood food items. Represent.
The core of the debate this week is potato cake vs potato scallop.
It appears that the consensus is:
Potato scallop/scollop: QLD, NSW, ACT, WA.
Potato cake: VIC, TAS, SA*
*Some people counter that ‘potato fritter’ is the SA label of choice. Controversial!
People do feel strongly about their battered tuber foodstuffs, it seems.
Don’t even get us started on variation in the names for beer glasses/sizes across state borders. Hopefully that debate stays off Twitter and in the pub, where it belongs.