Sultana and Ginger Buns


When is a bun not a bun? When it is a cupcake, or a muffin or…… are there a plethora of words or synonyms? English is growing quickly, as I mentioned in a previous article (click here), but what I have recently read is that it is growing most quickly in areas associated with food. English culture has long accepted foreign dishes and flavours, now it seems we are accepting the words too.

My gold source for the English language is my hard-back edition of the Collins Contemporary Dictionary from 1959. As English spreads around the globe it is also diversifying, which is normal. It was always going to happen. Interestingly this divergence is now being recognised, as we are now seeing the emergence of American, Australian or British English dictionaries. In 1959, when the internet was unheard of and English was just English, this dictionary provides me with a snapshot of what was.

So what does my 1959 English dictionary say?

  • A bun is described as “A kind of small cake, light in texture and well sweetened”.
  • A muffin is described as “A round flat scone or cake of yeast dough, eaten toasted and buttered”
  • There is no mention of a cupcake!

Few Americans would agree with the definition of a muffin. English, or at least American has clearly moved on since 1959………

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


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