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Re: mushrooms (Re: Intergermansk - Pizza packaging text :D)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 1, 2005, 18:48
On Monday, January 31, 2005, at 11:23 , Tristan McLeay wrote:

> On 1 Feb 2005, at 2.58 am, Gary Shannon wrote: > >> --- Tristan McLeay <conlang@...> >> wrote: >> >> <snip> >> >>> Hmm... that's another odd one, AFAIK, all mushrooms >>> are edible, because >>> if they're not, they're not mushrooms. Something >>> seems fishy in the >>> land of fungi. >> >> In English there are many poisonous mushrooms, so the >> term "mushroom" is definitely NOT restricted to edible >> mushrooms. > > Ray's posted a message which seems to agree with me.* I suppose this is > a case where Commonwealthish/Non-North-American English differs from > (North) American English,
I suspect there's probably even variation in different parts of North America and in the Commonwealth - almost certain to be in Britain :)
> but to me, there's always been fungi (a very > generic term, more like 'plant' then 'tree')
fungus/ fungi are the normal generic terms that I use.
> which have comprised many > subvarities, in a non-technical sense, including mushrooms (being > edible, umbrella-shaped fungi) and toadstools (being poisonous > umbrella-shaped fungi).
That's it!
> If we wanted to categories mushrooms and > toadstools together without using 'fungus',
But why would you not want to use 'fungi'?
> I'd probably call them all > toadstools---I'd rather imply they were all poisonous than that they > were all edible.
This seems to be where there is some difference of usage. I have met the use of "mushroom" to mean 'any umbrella shaped fungus, whether edible or poisonous', so I see nothing strange if Tristan or someone else should do the opposite, so to speak, and use 'toadstool' that way. [snip]
> *: > Ray wrote: >> Generally in this neck of the woods: mushroom = edible fungus; >> toadstool = >> inedible fungus. But I have come across the use of _mushroom_ to mean >> any >> fungus of umbrella shape, whether edible or not. IME an inedible fungus >> not shaped like an umbrella would not be called a mushroom. > > (I'm not sure if Ray means to imply that toadstools are not necessarily > umbrella shaped here, but to me they are.
No, I didn't. Toadstools are definitely umbrella shaped! A poisonous, non-umbrella shaped fungus is, well, just a fungus :)
> But the basic gist is the same: mushrooms are edible, toadstools are not. > )
Yep, that's the usage I grew up with, and still use =============================================== On Monday, January 31, 2005, at 06:55 , Gary Shannon wrote:
> --- "Pascal A. Kramm" <pkramm@...> wrote:
>> Well, this debate about "English word or not" is >> really splitting hairs... >> regardless if it's a French word or not, it's >> commonly used nowadays. > > I can' help but wonder at what point a word is > considered to be "commonly used." I am 60 years old, > born and raised in the USA, reasonably well educated > (postgraduate degree in comp. sci.) and an avid > reader.
And I am a 66 year old, born and raised in the south east of England, then lived for 22 years in south Wales and now returned to S.E. England. I consider myself also reasonably well educated (a couple of past-grad degrees) but possibly not such an avid reader as Garry :)
> This thread is the FISRT time I have ever been exposed > to the word "champignon".
Outside of French, the same here. I am well acquainted with its _French_ use where it simply means "mushroom".
> I have never used it or > encountered it in writing or in conversation.
I have never heard it in English conversation and only seen it on menus of those places that like to print their menus in 'Franglais' where I assume it simply means "mushroom".
> How widely used can it be if it has stayed so well hidden > from me?
I've kind of been wondering that as this thread continues :) Also: On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 12:30 , Ph. D. wrote: [snip]
> "quite commonly used in English"? Not in the United States. > I just turned fifty years old, and I've never run across this word > before.
and: On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 12:49 , B. Garcia wrote: [snip]
> I came across "champignon" via its Spanish version "Champiñón", and > always thought that that was a funny Spanish word, because it looks so > French (of course, it is). But this is the first time i've heard > Champignon used in a context outside of French food
Moi aussi!
> (meaning as a > perfectly fine English word). The common English name for A. bisporus > in the United States is "Button Mushroom" when sold immature,
Ah, so those are the little things Pascal's banging on about, are they? We call them "button mushrooms" on this side of the Pond as well :)
> and > Portabella/Portobello/Crimini when the cap is allowed to expand out > and mature a bit.
I don't know those terms. I would just call them "mushrooms", or just "mush" when I am buying them in the market. If i wanted to be specific, I might say "cultivated (white) mushrooms". When I looked up _champignon_ in my _English_ dictionary, it said the term was used in English to mean the _marasmius oreades_ and the "the Observers Book Of Common Fungi" agrees with that, referring to them as "fairy ring champignon". I assume that is regional use; I know them simply as "fairy ring mushrooms". They can be fried & added to other dishes, or dried and used as flavoring. But they are very different from button mushrooms! =============================================== Finally: On Monday, January 31, 2005, at 07:47 , J. 'Mach' Wust wrote:
> On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 10:55:28 -0800, Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...> > wrote:
>> This thread is the FISRT time I have ever been exposed >> to the word "champignon". I have never used it or >> encountered it in writing or in conversation. How >> widely used can it be if it has stayed so well hidden >> from me? > > Appearently almost zero width.
Apparently so.
> It's the generic word for all fungi in > French, and in German the normal word for that common white mushroom > (common > because you can grow it in cellars), aka 'field mushroom'
I would expect a field mushroom to be 'agaricus campestris', and be disappointed if it wasn't - much better flavor IMO than its cousin, cultivated both commercially & in cellars :)
> or as 'agaricus > bisporus' (both according to ). Pascal, native German > speaker, seems to be the only one to assert that it's commonly used in > English.
Yep - it seems so. This thread seems to be 'mush ado about nothing' ;) Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>Words for fungi (mushrooms/toadstools/champignons/etc)