What is the English word describing a long thin loaf of French bread, which crust is appetisingly golden and crunchy, and the bread inside is light and fluffy?

  • 4
    I've read through some of your questions and answers, and they all are riveted on food. You say you are a foreign cook, which makes it understandable, but I still think that you should refer to the cooking section of StackExchange instead of EL&U
    – Paola
    Apr 20, 2012 at 18:21
  • @Paola - Why have you used "through" rather than "across"? Apr 20, 2012 at 19:37
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    @ Anglo Saxon. I used "read through" as per its definition of "to read something carefully from beginning to end in order to check details". I'm not aware of any usage of "read across".
    – Paola
    Apr 22, 2012 at 22:54

5 Answers 5


Frankly I think most Americans call it, "a loaf of French bread" or simply "a French bread".

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    Or baguette, at least in the Northeast US where there are large numbers of francophones.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Apr 20, 2012 at 17:26
  • I don't know that I'd go as far as most- certainly many do but baguette is not an uncommon word in America. It is frequently seen on menus along with other loan words like croissant. Like here for example- if surfers can understand it- it can't be too foreign.
    – Jim
    Apr 20, 2012 at 17:28
  • I'm not sure how you'd find statistics on this. I expect an ngram search would find many more instances of "loaf" than "baguette", but most of those would be referring to bread in general. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a regionalism, but in New York, Ohio, and Michigan, where I've spent most of my life, I don't recall ever hearing someone use the word "baguette". I've heard it on television, that's about it.
    – Jay
    Apr 23, 2012 at 14:29

It's the same as it is in French: a baguette


In the UK we call it a stick of French bread (baton or baguette are a bit "middle-class")

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    so 'stick' is upper or lower class?
    – Mitch
    Apr 20, 2012 at 18:07
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    Eugh. I detest people calling it a 'stick' of bread. It's a 'baguette'.
    – Jez
    Apr 20, 2012 at 18:29
  • @Jez,Mitch: I suspect most Brits wouldn't know the difference between a baguette and a ficelle (which I much prefer). I lived in France for a year, and I've nothing against the people or their language, but I do think it's slightly posh/affected to use their words when we've got perfectly good ones of our own. Though of course that's why we have pork, beef, and mutton - French words for what our Anglo-Saxon ancestors had to rear, slaughter, and cook for their posh Norman overlords! Apr 20, 2012 at 23:22
  • You mean bourgeois? ^)^
    – Robusto
    Apr 21, 2012 at 10:26
  • @Robusto: Only a bit, but yeah. Around the time "English" really got going (Chaucer...Shakespeare), "courtly" language was French, and "churchly" was Latin. There's still a bit of a tendency to cast Anglo Saxon as the language of the peasantry (I f**king well hope OP reads this and recognises I'm rooting for his monicker as well as our shared tradition! ;) Apr 21, 2012 at 13:35

It could also be ficelle.

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  • In the U.S., I think both ficelles and baguettes commonly get called baguettes (although you sometimes see ficelles that are called ficelles). Apr 21, 2012 at 0:08
  • @PeterShor: There's a bakery a mile from me that sells both. The ficelles are thinner — mostly crust.
    – Robusto
    Apr 21, 2012 at 1:49
  • There's a bakery near where I grew up where you can buy a "grande baguette" (a baguette) or a "baguette" (a ficelle). But at least they get the French gender correct. Apr 21, 2012 at 2:13

It is described in English language dictionaries as a long thin loaf of white bread with French origins. It is usually pronounced as two syllables, with the tonic accent on the last syllable: Bag-ETT. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/baguette https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/baguette

In France, some people will pronounce it as three syllables: bag-ET-te.

  • Hello Samuel. Welcome to English Language and Usage. The word Baguette was already suggested by @Jim above. Please try to read other answers when you post an answer to an old question. Good luck.
    – user140086
    Nov 2, 2016 at 14:49

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