cookie cutter / biscuit cutter

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
The devices in the following photo are for cutting not only cookies/biscuits but also vegetables, jello/jelly, etc.



If you only wanted to use them for cutting vegetables or jello/jelly, would you still ask "Excuse me, where are cookie/biscuit cutters?" at the supermarket? I think so, but I decided to ask just in case. The Japanese term for these devices doesn't have the name of the food to be cut out in it. They are called "(devices to) cut out shapes".
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In BE, they are known as "pastry cutters". However, some people also call them "cookie cutters" but this is probably a blind use of the American term "cookie", which is otherwise rare in BE. (I've never heard them called "biscuit cutters.)

    "Aside - there was (maybe 'is') a type of biscuit that was marketed under the name as "Maryland Cookies" - basically, rough chocolate chip biscuits - If you wanted to buy these, in BE you would say "...and a packet of Maryland Cooky biscuits." :D
     
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    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    In BE, they are known as "pastry cutters"... I've never heard them called "biscuit cutters".
    Biscuit cutters is standard in this household, with pastry cutters as a fall-back option and cookie cutters never heard.

    But according to Google Ngram Viewer the "cookie" version has been the most popular in Britain since 1983. O tempora, o mores!

    (PS - I don't think the shop assistant really cares why you want them...)
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    They are cookie cutters in the US. You might want to use them as Christmas tree ornaments but you won't ask for them like that.
    If you ask for a pastry cutter in the US, you'll end up with this:

    It's for "cutting" (mixing) butter or shortening into flour.

    If you ask for a biscuit cutter, you'll get a taller, always round version for cutting American biscuits:
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They seem to be sold predominantly as cookie cutters even in the UK. No one would call them vegetable cutters, I’m sure, and for jelly we’d use a jelly mould, which is quite different.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    They seem to be sold predominantly as cookie cutters even in the UK.
    Not so from the Ngram - I checked the links to 2006-2008 "cookie cutters and most were from AE authors who published their books in the UK. As far as marketing is concerned, that too can be deceptive, as the internet is all done on search terms and the wider the choice of words, the greater the hits and thus the sales.

    That said, I am sure that there are those who say "cookie cutters" but they are not so numerous as the raw Ngram would have us believe.

    I rather like Julian's test of putting "color" into the BE search...
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Not so from the Ngram - I checked the links to 2006-2008 "cookie cutters and most were from AE authors who published their books in the UK. As far as marketing is concerned, that too can be deceptive, as the internet is all done on search terms and the wider the choice of words, the greater the hits and thus the sales.

    That said, I am sure that there are those who say "cookie cutters" but they are not so numerous as the raw Ngram would have us believe.

    I rather like Julian's test of putting "color" into the BE search...
    (It provides some overall measure of the "correctness" of assignment to AE or BE in the database. However I have not been able to figure out how to use that idea to filter Ngram hits on another word based on whether the text where it is found also contains any of several potential shibboleth words such as color:) I wonder if Google would be up for a revision of their assignments based on such a scheme - pehaps I'll write to them:))
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'm watching an episode of Inspector Lynley Mysteries (UK) and they used the term "fortune cookies." So you don't call them "fortune biscuits?"

    These are American "biscuits."
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    ...some people also call them "cookie cutters" but this is probably a blind use of the American term "cookie", which is otherwise rare in BE.
    I do hope readers won't take that comment out of context - the term "cookie" is widely used in the UK (and many other countries) regarding website visitor tracking.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I'm watching an episode of Inspector Lynley Mysteries (UK) and they used the term "fortune cookies." So you don't call them "fortune biscuits?"

    These are American "biscuits."
    Those are close to what we (BE speakers) call scones (although they often have raisins or sultanas in) and pile high with cream and strawberry jam - droooool (can't get good thick double cream in the US)

    "Fortune cookie" is an unbreakable collocation.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    I am sure that there are those who say "cookie cutters" but they are not so numerous as the raw Ngram would have us believe.
    British supermarkets, such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Morrison's, sell them as "cookie cutters" - and I don't think they are marketed like that just for American visitors to this country. :cool:
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Exactly. I was just in the process of writing that – in the unlikely event that anyone’s even remotely interested any more – my comment in #6 about these shapes being marketed as cookie cutters in the UK was based on searching as I would if intending to buy some. A much better indication than mentions in books, I think.
     
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