mushy peas with scraps

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
‘A long cold glass of Bateman’s beer, fish and chips and mushy peas with scraps, and my feet up in front of the fire with an old movie. Smashing!’
Source: Buried on the Fens by Joy Ellis
Context: This is David’s plan for the evening after work.

I am familiar with the term left-overs and not scraps. Why the BrE speaking character is saying ‘with scraps’ and not ‘and scraps”? I do not know what scraps the orator intends to eat, right? the mushy peas is not the scraps, right?

Glossary:
2. ( scraps) —bits of uneaten food left after a meal. • he filled Sammy's bowls with fresh water and scraps.

Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "Mushy peas" are peas that have been boiled for a long time so that they resemble a paste, rather than peas.
    Scraps (or what I call "scratchings") are small pieces of fried batter that are found in the hot liquid fat in which battered fish is cooked.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    He says "smashing!" so he clearly thinks this is something delicious. So it's not left-overs. In fact this is what PaulQ says: crisp pieces of fried batter, also called "fish bits".
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    To be fair, they are leftovers in a way. I don't think chip shops go out of their way to fry scraps, they are just bits of batter that have broken off from the fish, and are then sold as a separate item to those who like them.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. Well, I am blowed. I also learnt about batter, scratchings, fish bits which I used to call them idiosyncratically crunchies.
     
    Last edited:

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well I'm blowed too. I have never heard anybody in London say 'scraps' to mean that. Mind you, I associate mushy peas with the north of England. I'm not saying we don't get them in the south but we certainly didn't when I was growing up in London in the 70s. The only person I knew who ever mentioned them was my best friend whose mum was from Nottingham (I know, technically not 'in the north', but the Midlands are north of London): I had them for the first time in about 1975 when we stayed with my friend's nan there. And 'scratchings' to me are only pork scratchings.

    I see this is set in the Fens (Lincolnshire/Cambridge)? North of London to the east.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Note that this is entirely British English. "Mushy peas" are unknown as a dish in American English, and the term would not be recognized as the name of a specific dish that was intentionally made. Instead, it would be understood as a disparaging description of a kitchen mistake by a bad cook.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Well I'm blowed too. I have never heard anybody in London say 'scraps' to mean that. Mind you, I associate mushy peas with the north of England. I'm not saying we don't get them in the south but we certainly didn't when I was growing up in London in the 70s. The only person I knew who ever mentioned them was my best friend whose mum was from Nottingham (I know, technically not 'in the north', but the Midlands are north of London): I had them for the first time in about 1975 when we stayed with my friend's nan there. And 'scratchings' to me are only pork scratchings.

    I see this is set in the Fens (Lincolnshire/Cambridge)? North of London to the east.
    During my graduate studies era, I regularly ordered "one of each (meaning one order of fish and one order ofchips) and some scraps please" in the chippie in York (in the north of England). Occasially I would get some mushy peas (or pease). I was not aware until this thread that there was regional differences in the chip-shop jargon:eek: :D
     
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