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"peel the apple" vs "pare the apple"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Brave Heart, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Brave Heart Senior Member

    Japan, Japanese
    Hi all,

    Could you tell me the difference in usage between peel and pare, as in "peel the apple" and "pare the apple" ?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. sarcie Senior Member

    Munich
    English - Ireland
    In my opinion, they mean exactly the same thing - to pare something is to remove its outer covering, to peel something is to remove its outer covering. I would usually "peel" an apple, but that's a personal preference.
     
  3. Brave Heart Senior Member

    Japan, Japanese
    Thanks sarcie. I appreciate your help. :)
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It may be useful to suggest that "peel the apple" is much more common than "pare the apple" - at least it is here.
     
  5. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    And here too......(where is here?????)
    I mean, it's much more common in the USA too.
     
  6. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    I agree, in fact I'm not sure I've ever heard the verb pare in conversation except in the expression cheese paring (which means stinginess).
     
  7. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    The box at the top of Panjandrum's post indicates that his location is Belfast.
     
  8. mjscott Senior Member

    Being a Washingtonian, known world-wide for its apples, most pantries worth their snuff have an apple parer and corer--a thingamabob with a C-clamp that you poke an apple on to. You grind the handle, and a screw takes a razor-sharp blade across the skin of an apple and pares it, while cutting it into a coil.

    http://img.epinions.com/images/opti/8b/98/pr-Cooking_Tools-CHEF_S_Apple_Parer_Slicer-resized200.jpg

    My mother always complained if we used her paring knife for anything not paring-related, because it was always the sharpest knife in the drawer. My mother got it from her mother when she and Jesus were just kids skipping rocks across the Sea of Galilee.

    Apple paring contests are held in several communities--the goal of which is to pare an entire apple with one ribbon of apple parings. The longest length of peeling wins the prize.
     
  9. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    Spain
    English, UK
    To me pare means to take off the skin of a fruit more carefully than to peel, removing a thinner layer from the surface. I never heard of anybody paring potatoes, because the verb describes too delicate an action for this.
     
  10. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    I don't know that we say that.

    I would say "I peel a banana" or "I peeled an orange" or "I peel apples when I make a pie". What I peel from the banana or the orange or the apple is its skin, or peel, or rind -- but I would not say "I peel apple skin."
     
  11. Marty10001 Senior Member

    Dublin
    Ireland/English
    One "pares" an apple or a pear - with a knife.

    By the way you peel a potato.
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Although I've heard both, "peel an apple" is more commonly said and heard, in my experience, in AE.

    A google check turns up the fact that "peel an/the apple" is more common than "pare an/the apple", both in UK-only sites and worldwide.
     
  13. Marty10001 Senior Member

    Dublin
    Ireland/English
    I am certainly not interested in what is most common. ;-)
     
  14. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    However, if one is not using a knife on the apple, but instead is using one of these gizmos:

    https://www.housecalls-network.com/oscommerce/images/peeler.jpg

    then one would probably be said to be "peeling" it.

    To my mind, "pare" suggests more than just removing the skin. For example, on could take an apple (or a potato, for that matter) that has already had its skin/peel removed, and continue to "pare" it with a knife to make it smaller, or a certain shape.
     
  15. tinlizzy

    tinlizzy Senior Member

    Iowa
    USA - English
    I say pare an apple - I use a paring knife.
    I pare a kiwi
    I pare a cucumber
    I pare a zucchini

    I peel an orange
    I peel a banana
    I peel a potato - go figure
    I peel an onion
    I can't think of a good reason :p to peel a lemon. Cut, squeeze or grate the rind (zest).

    I skin a tomato
     

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