Thursday, May 17, 2012

Naughts and Zeds: Fools Edition

Naughts and Zeds is an ongoing series of posts on the differences between language, culture, and everyday items in America and in Britain. For a list of previous posts, go here.

The stores here often have rather intriguing items to offer. I haven't worked my nerve up to buy hot dogs that are in a can (like a can of bean or soup), but I did get this delightful concoction:

It's a mixture of yogurt, whipped cream, and strawberries. Eating it is pretty delightful. Why the name? No one is quite sure, though according to the unassailably reliable source Wikipedia,
Several authors derive it from the French verb fouler meaning "to crush" or "to press" (in the context of pressing grapes for wine),[4] but this derivation is dismissed by the Oxford English Dictionary as baseless and inconsistent with the early use of the word.[1]
How reliable is an entry where the footnotes are out of order?

If you are in America, "fool" always refers to an idiot or a jester. The only American who would eat a fool is Hannibal Lecter. For Americans of a certain age, the word "fool" is forever associated with this man:

"I pity the fool who doesn't know who I am."

In spite of my fond memories of The A-Team, I think I prefer the English variety of fool.

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