Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What are the little wells (dimples?) called that occur in a waffle. These correspond to the raised areas inside of a waffle iron.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The indentations in a waffle are called "pockets".

share|improve this answer
    
Citation? Or is this an opinion? –  MετάEd Jan 23 '12 at 16:14
1  
@MetaEd I don't have any single citation, but I used Google to view quite a few Belgian waffle makers, which almost uniformly refer to "deep pockets" or the like (a defining feature of Belgian waffles, incidentally the most delicious type of waffle). –  Ashen Jan 23 '12 at 16:29
1  
I did the same sort of searching and saw it used pretty widely. That is why I accepted it. Waffle maker manufacturers use the term. –  ncmathsadist Jan 24 '12 at 0:44
add comment

Apparently there is no clear concensus on what to call the indentations in waffles. For example, a thorough article about waffles and wafers with multiple references at enotes.com doesn't indicate what the dents are called. The question has been raised three times on answers.yahoo.com, but no definitive answer has appeared. Suggestions included nooks and divots [1]; indents, syrup holders and pockets [2]; honeycombs, dimples, grid indentations, dents and windows [3]. Wikipedia's waffle article uses the word pockets one time, in passing.

A Belgian waffle section on thenibble.com refers to them in passing as wells, and its waffle section again uses wells. A Belgian waffle section at antwerp-tourist-guide.com uses the terms indentations and pocket. The waffle entry at dictionary.reference.com uses indentations once.

A Belgian waffle history on ehow.com says that early waffle irons were "inspired by the shape of the alveoli (honey comb) made by bees", and thenibble's waffle history also mentions honeycomb pattern, and then comments: "The word gaufre, from the Old French for waffle (wafla), first appears in print at this time [1200's]. Wafla means “a piece of honeybee hive." From etymonline, waffle derives ca 1744, "from Du. wafel waffle, from M.Du. or M.L.G. wafel; cognate with O.H.G. waba, honeycomb." As meanings of alveolus, plural alveoli, include "A small cavity or pit," one could also use alveoli as a name for the cells, wells, pits, pockets, holes, dents, dimples, etc in waffles, and such usage would coordinate with the origin of the waffle pattern.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.