Why is there no meat in mincemeat? Etymology.

❓ Why is there no meat in mincemeat?

💡 It’s because the word ‘meat’ has undergone a process of semantic change.

🥗 Meat used to mean food in general, not just animal flesh.

🍇🍊 So all of your dried fruit you’ve chucked in your mixture – it’s all food. It’s all minced. It’s no misnomer if you look at the etymology of the word.

🥧 Not to be confused with other mince pies. Now they are minced beef. Context is all. If you walk into a British bakery and folk come out clutching polystyrene trays of mince pie, mushy peas and gravy, they’re of the savoury beef variety, not the fruit!

❓ I wonder if any words we use today will become more specialised as language evolves? When we say ‘pen’, will ‘pen’ mean a specific type of pen in 100 years? Will ‘post’ narrow and refer to just putting something on the internet? Who knows? I find this stuff fascinating.

Published by clairecherryedits

CherryEdits.com Indie Fiction Specialist. Line Editing. Copy Editing. Proofreading.

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