Categorisation of baked goods (and pancakes) in English and Chinese

British English

American English

Mandarin Chinese

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24 Responses to Categorisation of baked goods (and pancakes) in English and Chinese

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  2. chelonist says:

    Britain and America. Two countries divided by a common language

  3. Alan says:

    I am from the UK and I think of the chocolate chip ones in your picture as ‘Cookies’. That is probably the fault of this brand:

    • I’m also from the UK. They might be branded as ‘cookies’ but I’d say we’d still say they are a kind of biscuit. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole to get down, maybe an appendix is necessary.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What the Brits call a scone and what Americans call a biscuit aren’t the same at all. American biscuits are buttery, very light, and not sweet at all. Scones are creamy, dense and sweet.

    • I am aware of this – but they are fundamentally variations on a theme. A salty, buttery, light scone or a creamy, dense, sweet biscuit, you could say.

    • Alan says:

      Anonymous expert baker you are wrong; saying that British scones are “creamy, dense and sweet” is just as wrong as saying something like “all bread is sweet and has raisins in it”. It is true that /some/ bread has raisins, but not all, just like how some some British scones are light and crumbly, and some are dense; some are sweet, and some are savoury.

      To summarize:
      1. The closest matching British food to the American ‘biscuit’ is the British ‘scone’.
      2. The closest matching American food to the British ‘scone’ is the American ‘biscuit’.

      In my experience, American ‘scones’ have typically been sweet, which is I think why you are a poor confused Anonymous expert baker. If you go to the UK and have a cream tea, the jam (and maybe the cream) will be lovely and sweet, but the ‘scone’ probably won’t be.

  5. Anonymous says:

    As a baker, given that they rely on different behaviors from fat and liquid, I’d say differently, but it’s your chart.

  6. missuoo says:


    I’m here from your post on I Love Charts on Tumblr. I like the chart. I wanted to ask why was pie not included on this chart? I know that what is considered pie in one country is considered cake or something else in another country. Some things we call a pie, other countries call a tart. Another example, cheesecake is considered a pie in some European countries.

    Also, how do you pronounce those Chinese words? Where do you stress the accents if they apply? Are those works Mandarin, Cantonese, Fuijanese, or other?
    Thanks :-)

    • * Pies, as you say, are a whole other area of trouble. Perhaps a second chart is needed.
      * Pronunciation of Chinese words is difficult as the language is tonal – ‘gao’ has a flat tone, ‘mianbao’ and ‘dangao’ both fall on the first syllable, then are flat on the second. ‘Bing’ falls then rises, so it sounds a little like ‘bi-ing?’
      * Mandarin, but the characters are universal. That is, so long as you’re not using the traditional ones, these are the simplified versions used on the mainland.

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  8. jcr3 says:

    As a French, the only bread is the tird from left, first line. Otherwiser it’s brioche, vienoiserie, gateaux, crêpes, etc. I can not imagine what a scone is ?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the opening at the bottom of the British “scone” section implies this, but your thicker pancakes are what I would call “Scotch pancakes”, which I believe (unless my childhood cookbook has misinformed me) the Scottish call “drop scones”…

    • I’d call them Scotch pancakes too – a type of pancake. Or a drop-scone (well-noticed!)

      • Alan says:

        There is another subtle US-British difference here. North Americans distinguish between “pancakes” and “crepes” (crepe being just French for “pancake” to most of the world). The US ‘Crepe’ is the thin frying-pan sized one, US ‘pancakes’ are thicker and smaller (more like UK Scotch pancakes/drop scones).

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  13. business says:

    Look at the time when she is considering suing the flour bomber.
    Some of the 1992 World Expo. Read your policy completely to avoid yeast infections.

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