hamburgers or sandwiches?

  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    If a hamburger is served on a plate(pic 1), it is not a sandwich. A "hamburger" is the cooked meat pattie.

    If a hamburger is served between two slices of bread/bun, it is a sandwich. The bun can be designed to hold a hamburger (2), or can be a roll sliced in half (3), or can be two slices of bread (4). When you eat at home, you always run out of hamburger rolls (2) and use bread (4).

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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If a hamburger is served on a plate(pic 1), it is not a sandwich. A "hamburger" is the cooked meat pattie.
    In this part of the country, that's a hamburger patty or a chopped steak. "A hamburger" is the sandwich.
    At the fast food places I go to, they automatically assume that you want the combo unless you say "just the sandwich" (which also applies to chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, and whatever other sandwiches they have).
    This is part of the sign at a Wendy's.
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    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Everyone agrees that (on menus at US restaurants) the word "hamburger" includes the bun.
    At that restaurant, can you order a hamburger without the bun? Sure! I've done it.
    At that restaurant, can you order a hamburger without the meat? No, you can't.
    Why not? Because the meat makes it a "hamburger".

    hamburger - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    There are three definitions of "hamburger" in the WR dictionary:
    #1 ground beef (uncountable)
    #2 a round, flat patty of ground beef
    #3 a sandwich made up of such a patty

    Here are everyday sentences (in AE) using those three meanings:

    Meaning 1: I purchased 2 pounds of hamburger at the store.
    Meaning 2: Mom is frying several hamburgers in the skillet.
    Meaning 3: We are having hamburgers for lunch.

    Note that "a hamburger" (meaning 2) is already a "hamburger" before it is cooked and put into a bun.
    It isn't "a ground beef patty". It is "an uncooked hamburger".
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    But if you go to a restaurant in the USA and ask for a "Hamburger sandwich" they will think you just flew in from someplace where there is no internet, TV, movies, book stores, magazines or newspapers. Probably from the Malvinas or some other sparsely populated area.

    Just say, "I'd like a hamburger, please. Medium with raw onions, American cheese and bacon." Or more likely, "I'd like a bacon cheeseburger please."
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    I can't imagine that any American, when asked; Would you like a sandwich?", would expect to see a hamburger.
    An American, when asked "Would you like a sandwich?" would not "expect" anything. There are thousands of different kinds of sandwich. Some have meat. Some do not. Some are hot. Most are not. They all have bread, either above and below the filling, or only below the filling (an "open-faced sandwich"). But the "filling" can be almost anything: peanut butter and grape jelly, turkey, hot meatballs, ham, salami, pastrami, hot steak, cold beef...

    Usually there is one main filling. For example the filling in a "chicken sandwhich" is cooked chicken meat (hot or cold). But in addition to the chicken meat, the sandwich might also include mayonaise, mustard, ketchup, spinach, lettuce, tomato, cheese slices, bacon bits, bean sprouts, avocado slices, pickles, onions, slices olives (black or green), salad dressing, etc.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ...
    At the fast food places I go to, they automatically assume that you want the combo unless you say "just the sandwich"...
    That seems illogical - or have I missed something? Isn't the combo the sandwich?
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That seems illogical. How can one thing be a combination of things? :) The combo includes fries and a drink.
    The combo is the patty and the bun I thought.

    I am from Britain so all of this talk is foreign to me. Give me fish and chips or a pizza any day! :D
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    That seems illogical - or have I missed something? Isn't the combo the sandwich?
    The "combo" is the sandwich, a side order of french fries, and a soda. That combo (combination) has a cheaper price than the 3 items purchased separately. It would be clear on the menu: you would see the 3 items and the price.

    The fast-food restaurant encourages customers to buy the "combo", because the restaurant makes a bigger profit.

    For that reason, their cash register order takers are instructed to ask "the combo?" every time a customer orders a hamburger.
    So, every single time, you have to reply "no, just the sandwich".

    Apparently some places (the ones Myridon visits) go ahead and order the combo for you, forcing you to change the order.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    At Sonic, for example, the menu only has a section for combos. These items are not listed individually. The poor children working inside don't know what to do if you say "I want a Super-Sonic Double Cheeseburger." They haven't learned the menu like that. in fact, they haven't learned the menu at all. You have to say "I want a number two, just the sandwich." because that's how their order entry system is set up. They only know how to punch the button for a 2.
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    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    For me, a sandwich consists of two pieces of ordinary sliced bread, usually buttered, with some sort of filling.
    If the bread is in the form of a bun (or what we call a roll), then it is not a sandwich, it is a roll.
    A "sub", a hot dog, or a hamburger is therefore not a sandwich.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi,

    Is the hamburger considered a type of sandwich?

    I'd appreciate your help.
    Not, I think, by ordinary people. Certainly not in Britain.

    However, if you go into most hamburger establishments, they will be listed as sandwiches on the menu. Since they are also called Big Macs or Whoppers or Quarter-Pounders with Cheese, there is no need for customers to actually use the word "sandwich", and nobody does. If a word is needed, then we use "burger": "What type of burger would you like?" not "What type of sandwich would you like?"
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I waited until some UK residents/BE speakers chimed in - I wasn't sure if this "sandwich" usage had made it into mainstream BE since I left (rather than just on the menus at fast food franchises from the US) but apparently not so much (yet). Perhaps sandwiches will remain strictly just between two pieces of bread. We have not touched on croissandwiches yet:)
     

    raymondaliasapollyon

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I can't imagine that any American, when asked; Would you like a sandwich?", would expect to see a hamburger.

    Dictionaries commonly describe the hamburger as a type of sandwich:

    slider:
    a small hamburger or other hot sandwich made with a soft roll
    I had a barbecue pulled pork slider.

    slider noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com


    : a very small meat sandwich typically served on a bun especially : a small hamburger
    Definition of SLIDER

    I'm wondering if this is definitionese or Dictionary-speak.
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Dictionaries commonly describe the hamburger as a type of sandwich:

    slider:
    a small hamburger or other hot sandwich made with a soft roll
    I had a barbecue pulled pork slider.

    slider noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com


    : a very small meat sandwich typically served on a bun especially : a small hamburger
    Definition of SLIDER

    I'm wondering if this is definitionese or Dictionary-speak.
    No dispute with those definitions of slider, for an AE audience. However, many AE speakers will not think of hamburger when, out of the blue, you ask them "Would you like a sandwich?". If you are in a burger joint, you are more likely to ask for a specific burger, unless, in an even narrower context, you wish to distinguish the burger from the fries and drink.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Sandwich is the category word which most people in the U.S. have no need to use in that context, even if it's technically correct. They reserve the use of that word for a more specific use - something between two pieces of bread that isn't a patty. They don't, I believe, conceive of a hamburger as a sandwich in its everyday practical meaning to refer to something like a ham sandwich. Hamburgers are in their own category in everyday English.
     
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