The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39135   Message #775265
Posted By: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
01-Sep-02 - 02:46 PM
Thread Name: BS: British-American cultural differences 3
Subject: RE: BS: British-American cultural differences 3
The OED says origin of rasher unknown, but people have been trying for explanations for a long time. The OED inserts this note: "Minsheu (1627) explains it as a piece 'rashly or hastily roasted'."
Rashed means burnt in cooking.
Some words formerly common in America are being or have been lost. Flitch of bacon was common in my childhood, but has disappeared because now everyone buys bacon in a package of slices, by weight. The last time I bought a flitch was to take it along to a rough field camp, some 40 years ago, because we thought a side of bacon would keep better. It had to be special-ordered by the butcher- they haven't cut bacon for years, it comes from the meat processor and wholesaler already sliced and packaged.
Venthony is correct, rasher was commonly used in America until at least 1930. Again, probably a victim of the way bacon is now packaged and sold.

Like a number of other words, apparent absence of rasher in America is the result of changing custom or habit.