Merriam-Webster Says Hot Dog Is A Sandwich, Sends Credibility For A Toss

Now, before you ball your eyes out or tear your hair apart, hear this: Merriam-Webster said that the hot dog is a type. Not that it makes things any better. Because technically a sandwich must at all times have TWO pieces of bread. Whereas, a hot dog is a frankfurter served in ONE long bread roll. And remember how primary math was all about the 1-2-3?

The mayhem started last weekend when the massively trusted American English thesaurus and dictionary wished its followers a great Memorial Day Weekend on Twitter. The post linked to a slideshow that talked about 10 different kinds of sandwiches, which also included the hot dog.

Merriam-Webster cites various rules to prove its argument right. Here’s what it had to say:

We know: the idea that a hot dog is a sandwich is heresy to some of you. But given that the definition of sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between,” there is no sensible way around it. If you want a meatball sandwich on a split roll to be a kind of sandwich, then you have to accept that a hot dog is also a kind of sandwich.

You could hinge your anti-hot-dog-as-sandwich argument on whether the hot dog sausage qualifies as a “filling,” but if you choose to interpret filling narrowly as only “a food mixture used to fill pastry or sandwiches,” rather than broadly as “something used to fill a cavity, container, or depression,” then you’re not going to allow any single-item filling to qualify a food item as a sandwich—which means there can be no thing as a peanut butter sandwich or a bologna (or even baloney) sandwich.

Nope, still not sold to the idea. Interestingly enough though, Merriam-Webster’s website defines a hot dog as “a small cooked sausage that is mild in flavor and is usually served in a long roll (called a hot dog bun)”. Nowhere is the term ‘sandwich’ mentioned. Confused much, Merriam-Webster?


Meanwhile, the Oxford Dictionary sales and online traction sky-rocketed. And here’s what a sandwich does NOT look