Following the news that the British Sandwich Association has “reaffirmed its stance that a hot dog is not a sandwich”, in defiance of Merriam-Webster’s bold declaration, I started pondering this dispute and consulted my Twitter followers with a poll.
🌭POLL🌭: Is a hot dog a sandwich?— Matt Round (@mattround) November 4, 2016
While it immediately became clear there’d be an overwhelming victory for No, various edge cases and factions emerged in the ensuing discussion:
A generous definition is applied to justify a Yes vote, with the hotdog’s combination of bread and filling being sufficient to gain it entry to a broad church.
The form of the bread is the crucial thing — burgers, baps and panini don’t count as sandwiches either, slices from a loaf are a requirement.
@mattround Nonsense. Burger means Burger. Stuff in buns is a roll. Its all quite simple really.— rich hughes (@kidfist0) November 4, 2016
The important aspect is that the hotdog bun is not split fully into two segments.
@mattround A fundamental requirement of a sandwich is that the bread must be sliced all the way through. A hot dog, therefore, is not.— Hong Kong Hermit (@HongKongHermit) November 4, 2016
The initially-presented angle of the food is considered important, with a sandwich having bread uppermost and lowermost, unlike a hotdog bun sliced to hold its contents by the sides.
@mattround Horizontal stack of bread->filling->bread is vital imo. Hot dog doesn't meet that unless unconventionally rotated.— Tom Capper (@THCapper) November 4, 2016
The term sandwich is both a blanket term, as applied by inclusionists, but also a narrowly-defined item in line with shapeist thinking, depending on the context.
@mattround the issue is: sandwich is both a category & a specific type within that category. Row can't be solved without acknowledging this.— rob manuel (@robmanuel) November 4, 2016
Some men just want to watch the world burn
After careful consideration, my own view leans towards the taxonomists — I could happily categorise hotdogs, burgers, buns, etc as sandwiches in certain situations, but if I asked for a sandwich I would expect a filling between sliced bread.