If there’s one banner that humanity can gather under, it is the need and desire to eat good food. But it’s not just a survival necessity — we want food to taste good, look good and provide sensory memories. Food recommendations are shared as a way of bonding, and we often share stories about the best meal we ever had. Since food occupies so much of our time and thought, it makes sense that the language around food continues to grow and evolve. Let's look at a few slang terms that you might hear around the dinner table.
Noms is an internet-speak terminology that popped up in the 2000s. This onomatopoeia is a shortened version of the sound of overly enthusiastic eating — om nom nom — like the sound Cookie Monster makes when he’s going to town on his treats. To use noms in a sentence, just replace the word “food” with “noms.”
“I heard that Jane wants to go out for Thai tonight and it’s my favorite kind of noms.”
Noms can also be used in place of the word yummy, as in, “There are doughnuts in the break room … Noms, I want one with sprinkles!”
Lunner, or even Linner, is a portmanteau of lunch and dinner, but it’s such a new word that it’s not obvious yet if it functions like brunch, or as a completely separate meal in addition to lunch and dinner. Brunch combines breakfast and lunch, so if lunner follows those rules, it would be a very late lunch, or a very early dinner, intended to replace both meals with just the one. On the other hand, there’s a long span of time between lunch at noon and dinner at eight o’clock at night. Lunner could be an additional filler meal intended to stave off hunger pains before a late evening meal approaches. When agreeing to, or making, lunner plans, confirm the intention of lunner before committing to it to ensure that no one has a hungry belly.
Food can be a sensual and pleasurable experience, and the term foodgasm acknowledges that. A good way to describe a foodgasm in PG terms is that explosion of happiness that overcomes your whole body upon tasting amazing food and experiencing glorious new flavors.
As people become more discerning in their dietary preferences, we need new terms to describe their needs. Hence the term veganic, a portmanteau of vegan and organic, for people who eat a strictly plant-based diet but only with organic foods. An organic vegan is a very niche and narrow slice of vegans due to the time and expense that it requires to eat so strictly.
If you have a food baby, your belly is protruding after a very filling meal or snack session — or maybe it just feels like it is. Food baby can describe a physical look or merely the sensation, but it’s definitely not complimentary or a pleasant feeling to be so full.
As food and our relationship to it as a society continues to evolve over the years, the one thing that is certain is that the food slang we use will be shaped by it as well.