Re: OT: Dim sim (was Re: OT: Junk)
|From:||Tim May <butsuri@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, September 13, 2003, 12:29|
Tristan McLeay wrote at 2003-09-13 07:59:24 (-0400)
> On Sat, 13 Sep 2003, Tim May wrote:
> > Tristan McLeay wrote at 2003-09-13 05:32:47 (-0400)
> > > On Sat, 13 Sep 2003, Joe wrote:
> > >
> > > > Or, for that matter, a dimsim.
> > >
> > > I wouldn't have a clue how to describe them. The Macquarie Dictionary
> > > defines them as
> > > dim sim
> > > /dIm sIm/ n, a dish of Chinese origin, made of seasoned meat
> > > wrapped in thin dough and steamed or fried. [? Cantonese tim-sam
> > > snack]
> > > I couldn't find any defn at either m-w.com or dictionary.com, so either
> > > Americans don't have them (hard to believe) or call them something else.
> > I believe they call them dim sum - I've never had either, so I'm not
> > entirely certain that the terms are synonymous, but my dictionary
> > lists dim sim as a variant of dim sum. Certainly the derivation seems
> > to be the same.
> m-w.com defines dim sums as:
> traditional Chinese food consisting of a variety of items (as
> steamed or fried dumplings, pieces of cooked chicken, and rice
> balls) served in small portions. Etymology: Chinese (Guangdong)
> _di'msAm_, from _di'm_ dot, speck + _sAm_ heart.
> The steamed or fried dumplings could be what I know of as dim sims, but
> the rest is certainly not. And the etymology is quite different.
On the contrary, it's identical. It's just in a different orthography
and broken down more. The _New Oxford Dictionary of English_ says
"-ORIGIN from Chinese (Cantonese dialect) _tim sam_ from _tim_ 'dot'
and _sam_ 'heart'."*
The NODE gives only the sense of fried or steamed dumplings for "dim
sum". I suspect that American usage has extended the term from the
dumplings to the general class of food to which they belong;
alternatively Australian usage may have narrowed its scope.