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Word for Wednesday: Sandwich

In a rush? Not sure what to have for lunch? You probably can’t go too wrong with a sandwich

We get the word for this convenient lunchtime staple from John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Said to be a keen gambler, the Earl of Sandwich supposedly ate slices of cold meat between bread at the gaming table instead of full meals. It's speculated that this was so that he didn’t have to stop to eat and so that that he didn’t get his playing cards dirty from the greasy meat. His friends then began ordering ‘the same as sandwich’ and from there the story of the sandwich as we know it now evolved. 

The word date backs to 1762 and the account of its connection with Montagu dates to 1770. In 1841, sandwich started being used metaphorically as verb to describe stuffing one thing between two other things. The term ‘sandwich board’ dates to 1864.

Sandwich is one of many words in the English language that take their names from people or fictional characters. These people and characters are known as eponyms. Other examples of words like this include: braille, cardigan, jacuzzi, and wellington. Can you think of any more? 

24 Jul 2019
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