Whatchamacallit?

In addition to invoking an underrated Hershey’s candy bar, the title of this post refers to the numerous names for the divine swine: Barbecue, Barbeque, Bar-B-que, BBQ and so on.

As you no doubt have experienced, there’s a bit of a spelling free-for-all in hog heaven. The nomenclature can be puzzling. Heck, even we BBQ Jews are confused. As you can see, we roll with ‘barbecue’ in our posts, but ‘BBQ’ in our URL. What gives?

photo by Tadson via Creative Commons

photo by Tadson via Creative Commons

We chose ‘BBQ’ for our Web address mostly because we thought it looked cool. And it’s easier to type into a browser, which we’re sure our legions of fans will be doing quite frequently. So, yeah, you’re welcome.

We like to say that Barbecue puts the ‘Bar’ in Bar Mitzvah. On those grounds, we eliminated ‘BBQ’ as our primary spelling. And while Bar-B-Q and ‘Bar B-Q‘ were tempting, we deemed it too unorthodox (i.e. reform).

What about ‘Bar-B-Que,’ then? On the plus side, it’s even closer to Bar Mitzvah than ‘barbecue.’ But all those hyphens? Way too annoying to type. Plus, it makes me think of Barbie. And do you capitalize the second and third syllables? Bar-b-que? bar-b-que? Too many questions, let’s move along.

We use the ‘c’ instead of the ‘q’ because ‘barbeque‘ looks a little off. Plus, those French orthological roots pull pork in a different direction than we’d prefer. Sure, ‘que is fun to say and write. But so is ‘cue, and it doesn’t bring any English/Spanish confusions (¡Que delicioso ‘que, amigo!).

This discussion makes BBQ Jew think of the whole Hanukah vs. Chanukah vs. Hannukah vs. Hanu-Q-A thing. Only, that spelling debacle makes sense because the word is a Hebrew transliteration. What’s our excuse?

We’re curious: which spelling do you prefer and why?

Be honest, you won’t hurt our feelings.

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5 Responses

  1. For me, BBQ is the noun, barbecue is the verb and all other spellings, while acceptable in informal settings, seem cute but wrong.

  2. I actually follow conventions similar to yours — I use “barbecue” when writing conversationally, and “‘cue” when when in familiar company. But I will readily employ “BBQ” — or even ‘bbq” — if I’m really in need of a shorthand version, say when I’m arranging an emergency ‘cue run via SMS or IM.

    I hold “Bar-B-Q” and “Bar-B-Que” and “barbeque” in disdain. I would never use them unless the “C” key on my keyboard was broken.

  3. Adam,

    You wrote:

    “barbecue is the verb …”

    Wha?!? A verb? Not in NC. “Barbecue” is a noun. Full stop.

    From whence do you hail?

    BBQ D

  4. BBQ D, we like you.

    I know where Adam’s coming from, though.

  5. I all the time emailed this web site post page
    to all my friends, for the reason that if like to read it next my contacts will too.

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