15 British Terms from ‘The Great British Baking Show’ I’m Pretty Sure I’ve Figured Out the Meaning of in Context

Don’t let your cake—or your viewing experience—become “claggy.”

Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

If you’ve ever tuned into The Great British Baking Show and found yourself feeling like they’re speaking a different language, you’re not alone. Americans and Brits have many words that don’t cross cultures even though we all supposedly speak English. So I sat down and watched a few episodes with the subtitles turned on and I’m relatively confident I’ve deciphered what the Paul, Prue, and the bakers are talking about.

Here’s my primer on some common U.K. baking terms every U.S. viewer should know:

Biscuit — a cookie

Cookie — a biscuit

Grams — small lbs.

Over-proved—bitchy

Claggy—shitty

Stodgy — thicc

Pudding — any dessert except pudding

Pastie — a pie with black lung

Cornish Pastie—a pie with black lung and some corn

Victoria Sponge — 19th Century birth control

Sultana — a raisin that thinks it’s better than you

Treacle — excessively polite molasses

Caster sugar—sugar that divides society into arbitrary and artificial stratifications based on immutable traits

Bakewell Tart—a prostitute who makes a good pie

Soggy bottom — a wet butt

A writer and editor living, laughing, and loving in the NYC suburbs.

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