Will You Be The First To Guess The Meaning Of These Kitchen Terms That Were Popular A Long Time Ago

Updated November 9, 2017

When you were a kid, did you use certain words and phrases that have since gone out of style? It’s just the way of any language. They evolve. Grammar snobs want to preserve the English language. While they’re not wrong – kids these days are gutting it of syntax and grammar – change does happen. New inventions and ways of life come into being, and the language needs to adapt to accommodate that. And in the same way, things fall into the past and are no longer used. The words and phrases used to describe them fall into disuse.

Below we’ll challenge you with a quiz to see how strong your old-fashioned cooking vocabulary is. Some of these terms have to do with food, or things in the kitchen, and others have to do with America’s favorite drinks and more. Scroll through and decided the correct answer for yourself. Then share this quiz with a friend on Facebook to challenge them to see how active their old-fashioned vocabulary is. Answers are provided at the bottom, courtesy of DustyOldThing.com.

1: What is a butt (of beer)?

  • A) The bottom half of a pint
  • B) A person who acts foolishly after drinking too much
  • C) A medieval unit of measure that is no longer used today

2: What is the definition of slumgullion?

  • A) The act of stealing food from someone
  • B) A cheap stew
  • C) A drink that eases a stomach ache

3: What is syllabub?

  • A) The act of adding alcohol to a dairy product
  • B) A dessert drink popular in the 16th century
  • C) A medieval dessert parlor

4: What is switchel?

  • A) A beverage crafted from ginger, vinegar, and honey
  • B) The tool used in harvesting ginger
  • C) A game where a prankster switches drinks with someone without their knowing

5: What is farce?

  • A) The show jesters and clowns performed before dinner
  • B) Stew made from leftover veggies and extra salt.
  • C) A stuffing for meat created from starches.

1: (C) A medieval unit of measure. According to DustyOldThing.com, 60 percent of people thought that a butt of beer was the bottom half of a pint. If that’s what you guessed, you’re in the majority, but still wrong.

Question of the week: If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?

2: (B) A cheap stew. This term was used in the 19th century. Today a slumgullion resembles a Hoover stew, so although it may be inexpensive, it is not disgusting (despite how the name sounds).

3: (B) A syllabub is a dessert drink popular in the 1500s. It was popular in colonial America after it reached its height of fashion in England.

4: (A) A switchel is a drink made from vinegar, honey, and ginger.

5: (C) While you might think this has to do with the definition of “farce” which is a comic work when it comes to old-fashion cooking terms this means meat-stuffing. This term has French origins. It is different than a bread stuffing. In England, a farce was often called a pudding.

Did you guess the meanings of these old-fashioned words? If not, brush up on your vocabulary with this other quiz!