The Corner

Where the Buffalo Roam, or Fly

Toward the end of Impromptus today, I have some “fun with menus”:

At a Thai restaurant near National Review offices, the menu advertises “Tilapia Lard Prick.” Could be just me, but I think “lard” and “prick” are two words that are best left out of food descriptions.

A reader writes,

I am an American working in South Korea. . . . I was moved to tell my Thai wife what you wrote about the menu item. She informed me that “prick” means “chili” in Thai, usually a really spicy one. “Lard” is a kind of sauce. So tilapia lard prick is tilapia with chili sauce.

My wife went on to tell me how silly English can be. When she first came to the States with me, in 2003, we went out to a T.G.I. Friday’s, or some such place. My father, who was along with us, said he was planning to order buffalo wings. You can probably see where this is going, but my wife, who grew up in rural Thailand and actually had a buffalo, looked at my father with extreme puzzlement and said, “American buffaloes have wings?”


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