Day 218/365: Grinders vs. Subs

American Slang Dialects

I have lived in three distinct areas of the United States, Connecticut, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Each region has a regional dialect and slang for various words. We all know of the nationwide debate between pop, soda, and Coke but there are many other traditions.

I grew up eating “grinders”, pictured above from People’s Choice in East Hartford, but in the Midwest these are called “Submarine” sandwiches, or Subs. The latest made popular by Subway restaurants. In other areas of the country hoagie is the preferred name for a toasted sandwich on a bun.

What’s in a name anyways, what is the history and origin? Garzelli’s restaurant has a theory.

New England "Grinder"

New England “Grinder”

The biggest difference I see is the amount of meat. In Connecticut, the meat comes first and foremost and it’s piled high. At Subway you would never see this much meat.

The definition is as follows:

“A long French or Italian-style bread loaf, filled with meats and cheeses, topped with an assortment of lettuce, peppers, pickles – whatever – with a vinaigrette dressing or mayo.”

American Slang, sub vs. grinder

Turkey Sandwiches are nothing to sneeze at either.

So what do you call it: Grinder, Sub, Hoagie, Poor Boy, Hero? Or maybe something entirely different.

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