tamale (plural tamales)
- Mexican dish of cornmeal dough shell filled with various ingredients (e.g. chopped beef, pork, sweet filling) then steamed in corn husks.
The Standard Spanish singular is tamal, and thus some proscribe tamale as an incorrect back-formation, preferring to use tamal as the English singular; note however that tamale exists in Spanish dialect [which?]. The similarity of tamale to the ancestral Nahuatl tamalli is not generally cited in support of the English usage of tamale.