Why is bacon called bacon?

Published March 14, 2014

| The Daily Meal

Why is bacon called bacon?

Why is bacon called bacon?

Every word comes from somewhere.


The word “bacon” actually has a fairly lengthy back story, but the word itself has the same Old French origin as the word “back,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Back bacon is commonly found in England and is comprised of the loin with a small amount of belly attached.


Pasta is obviously an Italian word, and its origins date back to the ancient Greeks, who used the word pastos to refer to anything salted. The word morphed into pasta and came to mean barley porridge, and then the Romans took the word and used it to refer to any type of dough. The noodles that we refer to as pasta today didn’t make their way to Italy until the Arabs introduced it to Sicily in the ninth century.


The word pizza has the same origins as the word pita; they both date back to the Greek word pitta, meaning “solid,” and the later Latin verb pìnsere, meaning “to press.” When you look at the way that dough is pressed down and flattened, it makes a lot of sense.


The earliest form of cheesemaking dates back more than 5,000 years, but the earliest known word for cheese is the Latin caseus. As the years went on and the Romans began to make hard cheese (as opposed to soft, fresh cheese), they added a second word to describe it, formatus, meaning “formed.” Hence the Italian word for cheese, formaggio.  


Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods known to man, and the word bread itself is an Old English word. It dates back to the earliest Germanic languages, with a root that originally meant either brew (as in letting the dough ferment like beer before baking), or break (as in broken pieces of bread).

See more food names at The Daily Meal

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