Merriam-Webster Boldly Declares That a Hot Dog is a Sandwich


Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and with it come all the seasonal staples: outdoor parties, ice cream, swimming, and hot dogs. You may have enjoyed a couple of dogs this past week, and the folks over at Merriam-Webster likely had that in mind when they rolled out this earth-shattering tweet:

That’s right, this steadfast purveyor of proper English has deemed the hot dog a sandwich. Their addition to this long-held and divisive debate has to do with the very definition of sandwich, as provided in the tweeted slideshow.

Definition: 1) two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between 2) one slice of bread covered with food

The writers of the post insist there’s “no sensible way around” calling a hot dog a sandwich, and really go all-in when proclaiming, “If you want a meatball sandwich on a split roll to be a kind of sandwich, then you have to accept that a hot dog is also a kind of sandwich.” It doesn’t end there:

"You could hinge your anti-hot-dog-as-sandwich argument on whether the hot dog sausage qualifies as a 'filling,' but if you choose to interpret filling narrowly as only 'a food mixture used to fill pastry or sandwiches,' rather than broadly as 'something used to fill a cavity, container, or depression,' then you're not going to allow any single-item filling to qualify a food item as a sandwich—which means there can be no thing as a peanut butter sandwich or a bologna (or even baloney) sandwich."

Needless to say, the commenters erupted (it’s worth scrolling through a few if you have an opinion you’d like validated or simply want to engage in encased-meat-semantics as a spectator sport). For what it’s worth, we know the National Hot Dog And Sausage Council disagrees with Merriam-Webster, as do followers of both the The Today Show and Mashable:

Even Al Roker weighed in: "It is not a sandwich."

We're eagerly awaiting the Oxford English Dictionary's verdict.

[h/t Eater]