from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A grill, pit, or outdoor fireplace for roasting meat.
  • n. A whole animal carcass or section thereof roasted or broiled over an open fire or on a spit.
  • n. A social gathering, usually held outdoors, at which food is cooked over an open flame.
  • transitive v. To roast, broil, or grill (meat or seafood) over live coals or an open fire, often basting with a seasoned sauce.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fireplace or pit for grilling food, typically used outdoors and traditionally employing hot charcoal as the heating medium.
  • n. A meal or event highlighted by food cooked on a barbecue.
  • v. To cook food on a barbecue; to grill.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a framework of metal or brick, usually with a grill on top, in which a fire is lighted and on which food is cooked, usually outdoors; -- also called a barbecue grill.
  • n. A social entertainment, where people assemble, usually in the open air, at which a meal is prepared on a barbecue grill.
  • n. A floor, on which coffee beans are sun-dried.
  • n. A hog, ox, or other large animal roasted or broiled whole for a feast.
  • transitive v. To dry or cure by exposure on a frame or gridiron.
  • transitive v. To roast or broil whole, as an ox or hog.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cure by smoking or drying on a barbecue (which see).
  • To dress and roast whole, as an ox or a hog, by splitting it to the backbone, and roasting it on a gridiron.
  • n. A wooden framework used for supporting over a fire meat or fish to be smoked or dried.
  • n. An iron frame on which large joints are placed for broiling, or on which whole animals are roasted; a large gridiron.
  • n. The carcass of an ox, hog, or other animal, roasted whole.
  • n. A large social or political entertainment in the open air, at which animals are roasted whole, and feasting on a generous scale is indulged in.
  • n. An open floor or terrace smoothly covered with plaster or asphalt, on which to dry coffee-beans, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cook outdoors on a barbecue grill
  • n. a rack to hold meat for cooking over hot charcoal usually out of doors
  • n. a cookout in which food is cooked over an open fire; especially a whole animal carcass roasted on a spit
  • n. meat that has been barbecued or grilled in a highly seasoned sauce


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

American Spanish barbacoa, of Taino origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish barbacoa, from Taino barbakoa ("framework of sticks"), the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Originally “meal of roasted meat or fish”.


  • I believe that one of the candidates for the Senate there has made it part of his platform. the word barbecue comes from the Spanish word barbacoa which in turns comes from the Arawak


  • The term barbecue comes via the Spanish barbacoa from the West Indies, and a Taino word that meant a framework of green sticks suspended on corner posts, on which meat, fish, and other foods were laid and cooked in the open over fire and coals.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • Because for some, using the term barbecue to refer to grilled things is just so freaking incorrect.

    Baltimore City Paper

  • At each of these outdoor cookouts, the term barbecue is being stretched in culinary directions that I do not condone.

    Jack of All Blogs

  • But as the camera pulls back, the viewer sees that the barbecue is actually taking place on a freeway.

    Push is on to end prescription drug ads targeting consumers

  • Going to my family's house in nearby Mentone for a barbecue is always one of the highlights of my trip.

    Courtside with Ana: No title, but a great run at Aussie

  • The OED also says that the English word barbecue came from the Spanish word barbacoa which came from the Taino word for a raised platform.

    Need help with Spanish dictionary

  • I've recently spent time in several of the nation's major barbecue regions, and I've come to the conclusion that the term "barbecue" is misleading, a misnomer that implies that these widely disparate food items are in some essential way the same thing.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • The English word "barbecue" is derived from it, and the English word's first use was in the year 1661 (email me for details).

    First recorded use of the word "barbacoa"

  • The English word "barbecue" is derived from it, and its first recorded use is in the year 1661.

    First use of "barbaboa"


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  • Historical note on William Dampier.

    December 28, 2016

  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for the phrase "Shipped to you to-day by baggage". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 20, 2013

  • ... I'll take you out to dinner, if that's what you're driving at.

    June 12, 2009

  • As an Antipodean, I feel it necessary to inform you that you're all wrong.

    That is all.

    June 12, 2009

  • Trivet: I agree.

    Rolig: shocking!

    C_b: Hey, that sounds like fun! I wonder whether we could adapt it to Wordie....

    June 12, 2009

  • Speaking of condiments (just the word I mean)... In college I was taught a game called Shake the Disease, in which participants took turns naming a disease. One could not name a condition, and could not repeat one that had been mentioned already, or one was "out." This game could (and did) go on for hours. After a few weeks, when we got tired of playing Shake the Disease, we started playing Shake the Condiment. That game went on even longer, and we all ended up hungry at the end.

    Ah, college.

    June 12, 2009

  • I'm only telling this because I'm a being-polled Wordizen. I happen to think bbqurgers are good for putting under pineapple ketchup or under moutarde de Dijon or under piccalilli or under horseradish sauce or under rhubarb chutney. Unlike toast.

    My condiments to the chef at The Verbal Arms.

    June 12, 2009

  • I think that most barbecue arguments, at heart, are ploy to get someone to take you out to dinner...

    June 12, 2009

  • I guess there's no accounting for condiments. (What a great word, by the way!) As for barbecue, I am with Skipvia 100 percent. Though I always put catsup on my Hamburgers, Frankfurters, and Wieners, but not my Berliners or Dresdners (who prefer something even spicier). Oh wait, are talking about food?

    June 12, 2009

  • Zimino forever.

    June 12, 2009

  • I'd rather eat bone food anytime than sausage.

    June 12, 2009

  • Can I vote for all of them? Except ribs. I don't like bone food.

    June 12, 2009

  • Eeew, you're from North Carolina, aren't you! ;)

    Actually, I rather agree—it's far better that way than with a mustard-based sauce (much as I love mustard). But as for ribs, I go for dry rub. Heavenly.

    June 12, 2009

  • I warned you about this, c_b. :-)

    The only true barbecue is pit-roasted pulled pork in a vinegar and pepper-based sauce. If it's not served with slaw and hush puppies, it's not barbecue. It may be good, but it's not barbecue.

    Oh--and iced tea. Sweet.

    June 12, 2009

  • I concur, reesetee. I fight for my right to French's (cheap yellow) mustard.

    Okay, now I'm going to poll Wordizens for their barbecue preferences. Pulled pork? Beef brisket? Pork sausage? Ribs? Dry or wet?

    June 12, 2009

  • I double up tomatoes and ketchup also. Tomatoes because I like them, and ketchup because it's traditional, unless your name's Skipvia.

    June 11, 2009

  • Burgers are a vehicle for pickles! But I do confess to adding ketchup as well. And a good slice or two of homegrown tomato, if available. Which usually prompts someone to ask, "Why are you putting tomatoes and ketchup on your burger?"

    Because it tastes good to me, that's why. Never question a person's condiments, I always say.

    June 11, 2009

  • Wow, having a discussion about what condiments people like on their barbecue or burgers apparently leads to just as lengthy and intractable a conversation as how to make barbecue. :)

    Skip, that's an interesting story about puking over ketchup. I used to love ketchup on burgers but now I really like mustard/mayo much better. And it's a complete and utter waste to eat a burger without about a half-inch of good pickle slices. Burgers are a vehicle for pickles.

    But pickles on barbecue, I actually haven't tried. *checks schedule for next time she can get to the local pit*

    June 11, 2009

  • Yep, pickles. Slaw works too.

    I'm very catholic in my appreciation of condiments. To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never met one I didn't like. There's a greasy burger place in the building where I work. I'm on the 2nd floor, and the kitchen is almost directly below my desk--I'm trying to convince them to install a dumbwaiter. When you order a cheeseburger, they always ask "ketchup, mustard, or mayo," to which I always answer, yes.

    June 11, 2009

  • Or, as it's known where I come from, just plain slaw.

    There was a drive-in burger joint where I grew up that had two condiments for their burgers--chili and slaw. The first time I saw anyone put ketchup on a burger I nearly threw up.

    June 11, 2009

  • Pickles? Not coleslaw? *boggles*

    p.s. I second yarb's comment, but not on this page.

    June 11, 2009

  • ps -- Can any further discussion about this take place over on advertising, please? Barbecue is a very nice word and I'd rather not pollute it with talk of base commerce.

    I would give my left pinkie for a really good pulled pork sandwich right now. With pickles.

    June 11, 2009

  • Arcadia, are you sure whatever pop-up you saw wasn't triggered by some other page? I use Google Adsense for ads, and the only kind of ads I have configured are the 250x250 jobbies you see in the upper right. I don't think Google even offers popups, and if they did I'd probably drop them all together. Which would really hit me where it hurts, since I average around $2.50 a day from them.

    June 11, 2009

  • Never go back.

    June 11, 2009

  • I've never had a pop-up ad on Wordie.

    June 11, 2009

  • Since when does Wordie have pop-up ads? This page features the first I've seen. Maybe I've been away too long... I can't imagine it hasn't been discussed.

    June 11, 2009

  • If you want to start a lengthy, intractable argument in the South, ask someone what the best way to prepare barbecue is.

    June 11, 2009

  • In all the discussions about the American South and its wonderful foodstuffs (and other stuffs) that have taken place on this site (see: skipvia, esp.), this article really brings it alive for me. :)

    'DeeDee Gammage planned to eat her barbecue between slices of white bread, in the car, on the way home. Lou Esther Black told Mrs. Washington that she would serve her take-away atop bowls of grits on Sunday morning. “I let the grease from the meat be my sauce,�? Ms. Black said. “You don’t need butter.�?'

    Now I'm really hungry.

    June 11, 2009