Consider Exhibit A.

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Consider Exhibit B.

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In England, A is referred to as 'Chips' and B is referred to as 'Crisps'.

In the United States A is referred to as 'French Fries' and B is referred to as 'Chips'.

In Australia A is referred to as 'Chips' and B is referred to as 'Chips'.

My question is: What are the South African words for Crisps and French Fries?

(Curious about Canada too, but will stick with SA for now).

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  • The answers to both questions (South African and Canadian names for fries) appear to be in the Wikipedia article on french fries. – JEL Mar 28 '16 at 6:53
  • We in Australia sometimes call 'Exhibit B' crisps too, just not very often. Well, at least I've heard it in Melbourne where I live. – JDF Mar 28 '16 at 7:28
  • You had me at 'Consider'. – Mitch Apr 2 '16 at 13:22

As a South African, I can confirm that Exhibit A is definitely referred to as chips, in fact, we also use the term slap chips, which means chips that are slightly soggy as they've been bathed in vinegar; so chips is definitely common usage. See this menu from Nandos, a South African company of some renown, which uses chips too.

Fries, on the otherhand, are also common usage, but tend to be generally more associated to American-style fast food chains as is shown here, although in common parlance the words are interchangeable.

Moving on to Exhibit B, I'll again reference a pre-eminent manufacturer of these comestibles, in this case, Simba. Simba refers to their product as chips too, and so this is common parlance for items shown in Exhibit B, especially given that Simba's market-share is arguably the largest for these products in South Africa.

The term crisps, however, is well understood, and is certainly used when differentiation between these products is necessary.

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Exhibit A are known as chips: slapchips (soft, soggy and covered in vinegar) if bought from the store, chips if made at home.

Exhibit b are known as chips or by school kids as simbas after the brand Simba Chips.

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Both these "A" and "B" are referred to as "Chips" in South Africa

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    Hello, Boinneth. As tchrist has said, 'We are looking for more substantial answers with documented references, not merely [statements that may possibly be no more than] personal opinion. Those are just comments, not answers.' And the Wikipedia article Stephie mentions says that your statement is only true for 'some parts of South Africa'. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 28 '16 at 9:48

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