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Where’s the Duck in my Bombay Duck? Food Names Gone Wrong

food2Have you ever been about to tuck into some food and stopped to consider why the name of it was wrong? I know I have. Here are some of the foods from around the world which have had the wrong names given to them for one reason or another.


Let’s imagine for a second that you are the first person to clump a bunch of meat together and fry it. It feels pretty good, eh? You might feel like a slightly less weird version of Ronald MacDonald right now but what name are you going to give the invention with which you are going to clog up arteries all round the world?  You certainly aren’t going to think of Hamburger, are you? Cause there ain’t no ham in this baby. Theories for the name of this food range from it coming from Hamburg, sailors from Hamburg eating it in the US and sandwiches being sold in Hamburg, New York.

Hot Dogs

foodWho hasn’t had a quiet chuckle at the name of this perennial kid’s favourite now and then? The truth is they are almost certainly canine free but no sane human has the nerve to actually do the research and find out what outrageously bad cuts of meat go into these things. Not many places offer tours of Hot Dog factories, do they? I wonder why. The accepted theory for why they are called Hot Dogs is some nonsense to do with a baseball game and daschund sausages. However, it seems as though the name was used prior to when this was supposed to have happened, so who knows?

Bombay Duck

If it is really fish instead of duck why not call it Bombay Fish? Alternatively, you could put duck in there instead of fish and keep the original name. It isn’t rocket science. Anyway, I have always wondered about this name so I did some research and discovered that the fish is called Bombil by the locals in India. When the British arrived to Bombay (now Mombai) they were struck by the smell of the thing and the name supposedly comes from this. There are a couple of different theories but they both relate to the rail transport at the time, which was called Bombay Daak. The link is that the stink of the fish was reminiscent of the smell of goods which had been transported for a long time and that Daak changed to Duck over time.

Welsh Rabbit

My sister was a big fan of Welsh Rabbit and I always used to wonder why she called it that when it is just cheese melted on toast. I have also seen it called Welsh Rarebit but that name doesn’t make a lot of sense either. Why not just call it Melted Cheese on Toast? No one seems to know why it is called Rabbit or why it is even Welsh. It seems as though there used to be English Rabbit, Scotch Rabbit and Irish Rabbit in the past as well.

What other strange food names have always intrigued you?