Hamburger

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4722
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Contact:

Hamburger

Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:05 pm

• hamburger •


Pronunciation: hæm-bêr-gêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Ground beef. 2. A round patty of ground beef, usually though not necessarily served between two slices of bread or in a bun with condiments (mustard, ketchup, pickles or relish, tomatoes, and lettuce are among the favorites).

Notes: Today's Good Word long ago fell victim to 'folk etymology', a misanalysis of a borrowed word that makes it more recognizable. Even though it originates as the German derivation meaning something from the city of Hamburg (Hamburg-er), English speakers immediately (mis)perceived the word ham in it and began replacing that word with so many others that burger finally became a word on its own.

In Play: I only wish I had a nickel for every hamburger that will be cooked and consumed in the US this Fourth of July. The all-American hamburger is by far the favorite food for celebrating US Independence Day, despite its origin (see the Word History).

Word History: In the 13th and 14th centuries Turkic tribes known as Tatars roamed across the plains of what today is Russia. They were known for chopping meat (probably because it was tough), mixing it with spices (to hide any spoilage), and eating it raw. This idea gravitated to the German town of Hamburg, which became famous for its beefsteak Tatar, ground beef served with onions and spices without benefit of the flame. When this 'Hamburg steak' reached the US, it was generally served cooked. The expression Hamburger steak first appeared in the January 5, 1889 edition of the Walla Walla (Washington) Union. The steak was soon dropped, but it wasn't until the 1930s that the word cheeseburger appeared, and by 1939 hamburger had been shortened to burger. At that point, a flood of compounds with this new word began to appear: fishburger, turkeyburger, baconburger, and so on and on and on. (Today's Good Word comes to us courtesy of Dr. Goodword, himself, a Pennsylvania Lewisburger.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

David Myer
Lexiterian
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Hamburger

Postby David Myer » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:03 am

And very best wishes to the Good Doctor for what sounds like a splendid Thanksgiving Day in Boulder (always loved that town's name; also Rock Hudson and Pebble Flintstone). Of course, in Australia, we have a town called Manly. Sadly, no Womanly yet.

William Hupy
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 504
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:14 pm

Re: Hamburger

Postby William Hupy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:03 am

I had also heard that spices were used to disguise the taste of spoiled meat. However, when you consider that spices were very rare and very expensive (this is why the spice trade was so profitable and replete with danger) why would anyone douse a cheap cut of spoiled meat with a condiment worth its weight in gold?
William A. Hupy

User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4019
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Hamburger

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:05 pm

I'm with you, why douse spoiled meat with a fortune in spice?
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

Perry Lassiter
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 3265
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
Location: RUSTON, LA
Contact:

Re: Hamburger

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:31 pm

According to my newspaper, hotdogs almost equal hamburgers ro enjoyment, possiboy because two dogs about equal one burger in content.

David Myer, not Thanksgiving, but Independence Day!

How do you correctly pronounce tatar when referring to raw meat as served in some restaurants today? Tah-ter or tater as in short for potato?
pl

User avatar
call_copse
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Southampton

Re: Hamburger

Postby call_copse » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:23 am

I'm pretty sure it's always tar-tar i.e. if you search for steak tatar on Google you will be redirected to steak tartare, which is the only pronunciation and spelling I've ever known.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak_tartare

"Although the word 'tartare' presumably refers to the Tatar people of Central Asia, and there are many stories connecting steak tartare with them, steak tartare is not related to Tatar cuisine.[6]"

FWIW I will never touch a hot dog, disliking the pink colour and fine texture. Hamburgers on occasion are however acceptable, especially the ones with lots of chili.
Iain

bnjtokyo
Junior Lexiterian
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:16 pm

Re: Hamburger

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:49 am

Wikipedia does not support the tartar origin tale. And there are claims on the internet that "hamburger steak" was on the menu at Delmonico's (NYC) in 1837, 50 years prior to the date cited by Dr Goodword, and quotes a recipe in a cook book published in 1884, 5 years prior:

"When groups of German immigrants began arriving in America during the 19th century, many earned their livelihood by opening restaurants in large cities like Chicago and New York. It wasn’t long before many of their menus featured an Americanized version of the Hamburg steak– beef that was minced or chopped and combined with garlic, onions, salt and pepper, then grilled or fried. In 1837, New York’s Delmonico’s restaurant offered a Hamburg steak on its first menu. At 10 cents it was the most expensive item, twice the cost of pork chops, veal cutlets and roast beef. A German restaurant at Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition in 1876 served Hamburg steaks to thousands of customers. Afterwards the dish was in high demand, and could be found in non-German restaurants and in cookbooks like Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book,
“Hamburgh Steak. – Pound a slice of round steak enough to break the fibre. Fry two or three onions, minced fine, in butter until slightly browned. Spread the onions over the meat, fold the ends of the meat together, and pound again, to keep the onions in the middle. Broil two or three minutes. Spread with butter, salt and pepper.”

See http://toriavey.com/history-kitchen/201 ... LLR5B2w.99
http://toriavey.com/history-kitchen/201 ... amburgers/

David Myer
Lexiterian
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:21 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Hamburger

Postby David Myer » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:59 am

Well spotted Perry. I could try to suggest that it was a deliberate mistake designed to check to see if anyone ever reads my comments, but that would suggest that I feel the need to be read, which is nonsense of course. So I will now independently give thanks to you for pointing out my ignorance. We don't celebrate either event in Australia of course, but unlike the English we have a public holiday for the Queen's birthday. Long live independence.

misterdoe
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 556
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:21 am
Location: New York City area
Contact:

Re: Hamburger

Postby misterdoe » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:33 pm

Someday I'm gonna hunt down this Cheeseburg (or Käseburg :roll:) place and see what other interesting foods they have. :lol:


Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests