Last modified on 11 November 2012, at 01:25

Welsh rarebit

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Corruption of Welsh rabbit.

First attested by Francis Grose in A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue in 1785; he erroneously marked Welsh rabbit as a corruption (inverting the historical order); this idea may have originated with him, or been widespread at the time.[1]

PronunciationEdit

Either identically to rabbit, or as rare-bit.

Usage notesEdit

Some insist that it be pronounced identically to rabbit, as the spelling is a corruption, while others insist that it be pronounced as rare-bit specifically to differentiate it from actual rabbit meat.

NounEdit

Welsh rarebit (plural Welsh rarebits)

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

  1. a dish of cheese melted with a little ale and served on toast.
    • 1956, Delano Ames, chapter 25, Crime out of Mind[1]:
      Afterwards there was apple-pie and cream and a welsh rarebit. Peregrine said it was almost up to prison fare.

Usage notesEdit

Some object to the use of the term “Welsh rarebit” as a foolish error, and prefer Welsh rabbit.[2]

SynonymsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "When Francis Grose defined Welsh rabbit in A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue in 1785, he mistakenly indicated that rabbit was a corruption of rarebit. It is not certain that this erroneous idea originated with Grose....", Dictionary of English Usage, p. 592
  2. ^ "Welsh Rabbit is amusing and right. Welsh Rarebit is stupid and wrong.", Fowler, H. W., A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Oxford University Press, 1926