AskDefine | Define crumpet

Dictionary Definition

crumpet n : raised muffin cooked on a griddle [syn: English muffin]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • krŭm'pĭt,
  • /ˈkrʌmpɪt/
  • /"krVmpIt/

Noun

  1. A type of savoury cake, typically flat and round, made from batter and yeast, containing many small holes and served toasted, usually with butter.
  2. In the context of "UK|slang|uncountable": A person (or, collectively, persons) considered sexually desirable.
    Joan Bakewell was famously described as "the thinking man's crumpet".
    John and his mates have gone out to find themselves some crumpet.

See also

Extensive Definition

A crumpet is a savory/sweet snack made from flour and yeast. It is eaten mainly in the United Kingdom, but also in the nations of the Commonwealth.

Etymology

Crumpets were an Anglo-Saxon invention. In early times, they were hard pancakes cooked on a griddle, rather than the soft and spongy crumpets of the Victorian era which were made with yeast. The crumpet-makers of the Midlands and London developed the characteristic holes, by adding extra baking powder to the yeast dough. The term itself may refer to a crumpled or curled-up cake, or have Celtic origins relating to the Breton krampoez meaning a "thin, flat cake" and the Welsh crempog, a type of pancake. Since many English words have Germanic roots, another possible root is the similar German word krumm (from Middle High German krump, krum) which means "bent".Crumpet, Krumkake, Krummhorn - The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.] Another viable origin of the word may derive from the Welsh term crempot, translating as "pancake".

The English crumpet

Crumpets are generally circular though long and square varieties also exist. They have a distinctive flat top covered in small pores and a resilient, slightly spongy texture. Crumpets alone are bland and generally eaten hot with a topping (usually butter). Other popular accompaniments include cheese when melted on top of the crumpet, jam, Marmite, marmalade, honey, peanut butter, cheese spread, golden syrup, and maple syrup.
A pikelet is similar to a crumpet, but thinner and sometimes irregularly shaped. (However, the meaning of pikelet varies: in some regions of Britain it traditionally refers to a crumpet, muffin or other teacake. In other British regions, Australia and New Zealand it refers to a Scotch pancake.)

The Scots crumpet

In Scotland, a crumpet is made from the same ingredients as a Scotch pancake, and is about 180 mm (7 inches) diameter and 8 mm (0.3 inches) thick. They are available plain, or as a fruit crumpet with raisins baked in, and are not reheated before serving; condiments include jam, marmite and other such sweet-based products. The ingredients include a raising agent, usually baking powder, and different proportions of eggs, flour and milk which create a thin batter. Unlike a pancake, they are cooked to brown on one side only, resulting in a smooth darker side where it has been heated by the griddle, then lightly cooked on the other side which has holes where bubbles have risen to the surface during cooking. It bears little resemblance to the English crumpet.
This is the normal kind of crumpet in baker's shops, tea rooms, and cafés, though the English type of crumpet is often obtainable in supermarkets in addition to the Scottish kind.

Slang term

In the UK, "crumpet" has been used since 1936 as a slang term for a woman regarded as physically attractive (I.e. Trish Kennedy, Gerard O'Neill). Historically "Crumpet" has also been used as a non-sexual term of endearment.
Humorist Frank Muir dubbed Joan Bakewell as "the thinking man's crumpet" following her appearances in high-brow television discussion programmes such as BBC2's Late Night Line-Up, and the term has subsequently been used to refer to other women who are intelligent and good looking, particularly if they have a high profile in the broadcast media.

References

crumpet in German: Crumpet
crumpet in Spanish: Crumpet
crumpet in Esperanto: Krumpedo
crumpet in French: Crumpet
crumpet in Polish: Crumpet
crumpet in Chinese: 烤麵餅

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Danish, Danish pastry, English muffin, Parker House roll, Yorkshire pudding, bagel, bialy, bialystoker, bun, clover-leaf roll, coffee cake, crescent roll, croissant, cross bun, gem, hard roll, hot cross bun, kaiser roll, muffin, onion roll, pinwheel roll, popover, roll, scone, soft roll
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