I've noticed that quite often Americans will refer to "Making Eggs" or "Making a pizza"

When infact they are cooking eggs (chickens make eggs) or cooking a pizza (assuming its pre-made in a factory)

Specifically its things that are already "made" or do not require combining of ingredients. As in British English we would never refer to the act of frying 2 eggs as "making eggs"

Why is this so common? as it seems grammatically or just logically incorrect...

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    The verbs to make and to cook are in meaning very similar, since in both you start with ingredients and then end up with a product. It is possible that this has been the product of linguistic evolution and the two have separated slightly more over here (BrE) than in America Jul 18, 2016 at 8:13
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    It's because "making" has several meanings, one of which is synonymous with "cooking". The dictionary you looked at should have told you that. Jul 18, 2016 at 8:13
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    @DigitalLightcraft a dictionary is a book that tells you what words mean. They come in handy so that you don't waste precious time asking questions on forums like this :) Jul 18, 2016 at 8:27
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    Interesting. I don't have a great deal of direct experience with British English but I am sure I have heard Britons use the expression "making a pot of tea". If I am not mistaken here, there must be some linguistic or logic difference in Britain between making tea and making eggs (or pizza) that I don't understand. Jul 18, 2016 at 10:30
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    @HughMeyers We do 'make toast', While it might seem similar to making eggs in that all we do is add heat to a thing, in the instance of toast the heat application changes the thing from bread to toast. Eggs remain eggs when you heat them. I would, however, make scrambled eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs, coddled eggs etc. Just not eggs.
    – Spagirl
    Jul 18, 2016 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


AHDEL gives the sense/s one might consider relevant:

make ... v. tr.

  1. To bring into existence by shaping, modifying, or putting together material

... 8. a. To prepare; fix: make dinner.

So far, general reference.

The question is what direct objects are considered acceptable, and by whom.

He made a curry / pie.

are, I'm sure, acceptable to everyone. Here, the 'prepare' and Collins sense (1), doubtless the 'principal' sense,

make 1. to bring into being by shaping, changing, [and/] or combining materials

obviously reinforce.

She made a salad.

is probably acceptable to most people, with the prepare / combining elements involved.

She made eggs for tea.

does sound rather awkward to my (again British) ears, because the count-noun usage is by far the more common one. 'Eggs is my favourite breakfast' is unusual; 'eggs' as a meal seems fairly rarely used, unlike 'bacon and eggs'. 'She made bacon and eggs' or 'She made Eggs Benedict' would be quite unremarkable. Hugh correctly points out the idiomatic 'make a pot of tea'. This is a counterexample. Though grammaticality isn't involved hereabouts, logic is certainly stretched. 'He made me a screwdriver / glass of mixed juice ...' are also acceptable (generally), but 'made me a glass of water' seems largely confined to the US.


He made a pizza.

does carry the favoured interpretation that he assembled the ingredients.

I usually come clean and say 'I warmed up some soup for lunch' when that's all I did. My wife makes some excellent soups.

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    For what it's worth, to my Canadian ears "he made a pizza for dinner" implies (but does not guarantee) that he assembled the ingredients but "he made pizza for dinner" does not. The latter could apply either to heating up or to cooking from scratch. Jul 18, 2016 at 10:58
  • (a) do you use both variants ('BrE' does) and (b) if so does the distinction again apply with: she made a curry for tea / he made curry for tea? Jul 18, 2016 at 11:02
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    Personally - If it was a supermarket ready-meal curry, I would not say "Making a curry" as you rightly say that implies MAKING it, not just microwaving it for 4 minutes. Jul 18, 2016 at 11:11
  • In Canada both variants are commonly used. The distinction applies fairly generally although (oddly) it would be very unusual to use "curry" on its own. One would say "curried rice," or "curried vegetables" or whatever. Jul 18, 2016 at 11:17
  • Interesting. 'We had barbeque / barbie the other day' isn't idiomatic here. Jul 18, 2016 at 12:08

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