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Why is pig meat called "pork"? Why is cattle meat called "beef"?


origamicrane
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On 9/5/2021 at 6:27 PM, liuzhou said:

I have never found another language which displays this disparity between animal and meat.

 

It was kind of weird to me at first, because I found it after I moved overseas and start to deal with English language "for real". The first big deal was looking and asking where the "milk products" section was in a supermarket, and I was sent to the fridge with milk. Of course, I was looking for the dairy section.

Right now, i kind of like the distinction, and the origin of it. We don't have the distinction in spanish, but there are few examples, Deer -- Venison, for example. We have ciervo (deer), and venado (both deer and venison, used mostly in the game world, but also in restaurants, the origin of the world of course is the same as for venison).

We do however have a clear two-world for fish. When it is in the ocean/river/lake, it/they are pez/peces, and when it/they are in the market, or in a restaurant menu, they are called pescado/pescados. The verb "to fish" is said "pescar", and, literally, "pescado" is a common past form than can mean "I have fished" but also "it (the fish) has been fished", so that could be the origin of the distinction.

 

cheers

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/5/2021 at 9:53 AM, farcego said:

 

It was kind of weird to me at first, because I found it after I moved overseas and start to deal with English language "for real". The first big deal was looking and asking where the "milk products" section was in a supermarket, and I was sent to the fridge with milk. Of course, I was looking for the dairy section.

Right now, i kind of like the distinction, and the origin of it. We don't have the distinction in spanish, but there are few examples, Deer -- Venison, for example. We have ciervo (deer), and venado (both deer and venison, used mostly in the game world, but also in restaurants, the origin of the world of course is the same as for venison).

We do however have a clear two-world for fish. When it is in the ocean/river/lake, it/they are pez/peces, and when it/they are in the market, or in a restaurant menu, they are called pescado/pescados. The verb "to fish" is said "pescar", and, literally, "pescado" is a common past form than can mean "I have fished" but also "it (the fish) has been fished", so that could be the origin of the distinction.

 

cheers

In Spanish we also have vaca (f) and toro (m) and the meat is called res. Pigs can be called chanchos or cerdos and the meat is cerdo. Sheep are ovejas and the meat is called cordero.

Here in Costa Rica they like to really confuse it. Any thin, crosscut slice of meat they call bifsteak which is a corruption of the English word beefsteak. I have seen bifsteak of cerdo, bifsteak of pollo (chicken) and even bifsteak of pescado. A while back I saw rosbif of cerdo.

It does no good to try and explain that there can be no such thing so you just shake your head and go on.

Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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On 12/1/2021 at 9:50 PM, Tropicalsenior said:

In Spanish we also have vaca (f) and toro (m) and the meat is called res. Pigs can be called chanchos or cerdos and the meat is cerdo. Sheep are ovejas and the meat is called cordero.

Here in Costa Rica they like to really confuse it. Any thin, crosscut slice of meat they call bifsteak which is a corruption of the English word beefsteak. I have seen bifsteak of cerdo, bifsteak of pollo (chicken) and even bifsteak of pescado. A while back I saw rosbif of cerdo.

It does no good to try and explain that there can be no such thing so you just shake your head and go on.

That's interesting, but it is more a regional way of speaking... you mention different names based on a regional or spatial separation, not the use of different names for the same thing depending on the use or process...

 

In Spain, if someone say "res" it means automatically that the person is from America, this word is already known here but is not on use, unless a latin american restaurant want to use it on the menu. But Oveja and cordero are different words with different meaning, as vaca, toro, and buey are too. It is even worse with the pigs, as the number of names rise considerably, cerdo, gocho, puerco, porco, chon, chancho (this one is less used, btw). This are regional differences, no more. The concept, I reckon, is pretty different

 

Cheers

Fer

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15 hours ago, farcego said:

but it is more a regional way of speaking...

As you say, so much of this is regional. I should have prefaced with, 'Here in Costa Rica...' In so many ways, Spain and Costa Rica speak an entirely different language.

15 hours ago, farcego said:

chancho (this one is less used, btw)

This is predominantly used here.

I studied Spanish for years but when I came here I had to learn Costa Rican.

Edited by Tropicalsenior (log)
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