I mean. Let's say I'm eating cereal without milk or whatever just because I feel a bit hungry or something. What do you call it?

Same applies when you're eating cheese only without anything else.

  • Hello and welcome to EL&U. Can you please indicate what suggested that such a word exists?
    – Lawrence
    May 10, 2018 at 12:02
  • Haven't seen this word in use before, but I thought that there might be a such word out there.
    – P. H.
    May 10, 2018 at 12:04
  • 1
    The eating because I feel a bit hungry is called "noshing", at least in the NYC area - but who says that you're "not supposed" to eat cereal without milk, or cheese alone? May 10, 2018 at 12:39
  • The current title sounds like you're eating butter on its own rather than spreading it on toast, or eating ketchup on its own rather than with a burger.
    – AndyT
    May 10, 2018 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


The most common word would likely be “snack”, used as a verb (definition 4 in the link), but you might also encounter “nosh”, which came into American English in the New York City region via Yiddish with German Jewish immigrants.

(links are to dictionary.com)

  • 1
    Hmm, one can snack on cereal+milk just as well as on cereal alone. I don't think snacking conveys the one-without-the-other notion the OP asks for.
    – Lawrence
    May 10, 2018 at 13:16
  • @Lawrence - I think the implication is more-or-less "casual" snacking, with no real preparation needed - grab a box of cereal, or some Babybel cheeses or cheese sticks, and plop down in front of the TV. Cereal-plus-milk, or a cheese sandwich, requires deliberate preparation; while "snack" might apply, most New Yorkers wouldn't apply "nosh" for those. May 10, 2018 at 13:19
  • I'm not sure what that word would be, or if it exists, but I don't think "Snacking" (or "Noshing") fits. You can "Snack" on almost anything, and Snacking is as much about timing and portion size as it is about what the item is that is being eaten. You can "Snack" on cold pizza, a piece of toast, a handful of nuts, some potato chips, or some cookies or carrot sticks. None of these fulfill the "this food item seems strange or out of place to be eaten on its own" criteria that the OP is asking about. Jun 7, 2018 at 10:42

The original question could use clarification; however, based on the secondary statement, an answer might be 'snacking'.

  • I believe this question is an opportunity to create a new term. I'm thinking it could be 'basing'. As an example, 'I'm basing cheese today without crackers as normal.' 'I am basing cereal without milk simply because I wanna." Certainly it wouldn't be a 'new' word; but more so replacing 'eating', after all, English is a very creative language. :) May 10, 2018 at 12:44

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