There is a fairly well known recipe for Triple Cooked Chips. It involves cooking chips three different ways / times.

Is triple cooked correct or should it be called Thrice Cooked Chips as they have been cooked three times?


5 Answers 5


Pretend it would concern the number two instead of three:

Use thrice when you would use twice.
Use triple when you would use double.

As they have been cooked three times, I would suggest "thrice".
For comparison: I have seen you triple today. Doesn't work, does it?

  • 1
    Thrice isn't exactly part of the everyday language of most English speakers. That's why this link dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/thrice?q=thrice says "old use or Indian English".
    – Tristan r
    Jul 20, 2014 at 16:29
  • It's true that "I have seen you triple today" doesn't work, but there are some subtleties. Consider Seinfeld's "Did you just double-dip that chip?" [link]
    – ruakh
    Jul 20, 2014 at 18:31
  • But it doesn't concern the number two instead of three... Jul 21, 2014 at 7:05

If it is a fairly well-known recipe, then the name is a fixed phrase by now — and also, well, a name. So it cannot be wrong by definition. It's a label, and as far as the English language is concerned, it can be anything at all. You might as well wonder if New York should be called Second York instead. Or Little Pear. It should nothing. It just is.

  • 2
    Even if it is a fixed phrase, it doesn't mean that the original grammar was correct. (Maybe I should have mentioned in my question that I was wondering which term is grammatically correct.) Even though triple may sound better, to me, it's grammatically incorrect.
    – Daniel Gee
    Jul 20, 2014 at 15:29
  • 1
    @DanielGee Both terms are clearly grammatically correct. The question is one of semantics, not syntax. Jul 20, 2014 at 19:45
  • @DanielGee I got that alright, and my answer stands. Right now it is perfectly grammatical, and had it been grammatically incorrect originally, which it was not, that would have no bearing whatsoever on what it should be now. But that's beside the point because combining triple with a past participle is perfectly grammatical, and has always been.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jul 20, 2014 at 21:22
  • 1
    +1 for Second York. Although, maybe just renaming it Gotham would do.
    – einpoklum
    Jul 21, 2014 at 10:52
  • FWIW, I've never heard of 'triple cooked' chips, and if I had before reading this, I would find myself wondering whether the cooking time or temperature were tripled. Then again, I still cringe when I think about a former colleague who wrote about her 'install download' not working. When a few weeks later, I said to her 'congratulate on your promote', she looked at me cluelessly. Nov 21, 2014 at 23:01

Thrice is rather old fashioned these days, even archaic. It's valid, but 'triple' conveys the meaning perfectly adequately.

  • 3
    I agree that triple sounds better and conveys what the chef is trying to say. However, I've always understood that triple is three of something, thrice is something done three times.
    – Daniel Gee
    Jul 20, 2014 at 15:25
  • 1
    Language evolves. Jul 20, 2014 at 15:33
  • You're right, ElendilTheTall. It is old fashioned and not exactly part of the everyday language of most English speakers.
    – Tristan r
    Jul 20, 2014 at 16:31
  • 1
    @DanielGee One could argue that "triple-cooked" could mean "cooked three times as much" whereas "thrice-cooked" means "cooked three times". But it's pretty obvious from context that a chip that was cooked three times as much as normal would be badly burnt and anyone who says "triple-cooked" probably doesn't mean that. Jul 20, 2014 at 19:42
  • 2
    'I agree that triple sounds better and conveys what the chef is trying to say' - and that's why we use triple... Jul 21, 2014 at 7:06

As other people point out, many people consider triple to be a modern 'replacement' for thrice, and in advertising, what matters is your customer's opinions, not grammar nerds on the internet.

That said, thrice is more specific and accurate in this case.

"I had coffee twice/thrice" involves a lot more washing up than having a double coffee or a triple coffee.

So triple cooked chips could simply be cooked for triple the amount of time, at triple the 'normal' temperature, or they could be cooked three separate times.

Thrice cooked chips, however, have to be cooked three separate times. It cannot be one longer/hotter cook.

Using Thrice is more descriptive, and in order to be completely understood, you should use thrice. If you want to sell chips, do some market surveys of your target audience and go with the majority.


"Thrice cooked" is a bit archaic. Correct English would be "Triply cooked" in my opinion. "Triple cooked cookies" rather sounds like triple cookies rather than triply cooked.

  • 2
    Thrice is more common than triply, and is therefore a better choice. Jul 20, 2014 at 20:21

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