Few side dishes are staples in the entire world. Few are as popular as French fries.

Frites Chips Salchipapas — the list of names of fries is long. But no matter what name you call them, they are available on menus in restaurants on every continent. The summer is a great time to learn more about words that describe deep-fried potatoes.

French fry

In the US, the most common name for fried potatoes is French fries. However, it can be used verbally or as an adjective, as in “French fried onion rings.” But it’s more complicated than that.

French fry dates back to the 1920s. It’s unclear where the term originated, but a common story says that in the late 1600s, residents of a Belgian village fried potatoes after their river froze and they were unable to catch fish. The American soldiers who were in the area during World War I came across the fries, and they called them French fry as the locals spoke French. It would make them French Fries rather than Belgian fries. In Belgium, they are called Frieten or Frites and served with mayonnaise.


In Canada and parts of the northern US, it is popular to serve fries as poutine. It is believed that the dish originated in the French-speaking region of Quebec. However, the origin of the term poutine remains unclear. It is sometimes described as slang (though it’s probably related to or inspired by the words pud).

It’s a tasty mess, though it’s more common to use little forks than finger food when eating poutine. This hearty dish is made from fried potatoes and cheese curls, fresh, unaged cheese. It can be served with gravy or tomato-based sauce.

Learn to speak like a Canadian as you eat poutine using this collection of Canadian English words.

masala chips

In Kenya, Masala Chips are inspired by Western-style fries and traditional Indian spices. The fries and chips parts of the name come from the British term. After the fries have been made, they are drenched and cooked with Garam Masala, which is a mix of spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. This is not the usual crispy fries you get with a burger. These masala fries should be eaten with a spoon, just like chili cheese fries.

French fries Emoji

It can be a bit much to spell out French FriesFrench fry emoji is a great alternative. The emoji shows fries in a box, much like the way French fries are served at fast-food restaurants (the red and yellow packaging is very similar to McDonald’s). Unicode, a company that is responsible for the emojis, added the French fry emoji in 2010 with the Unicode 6. x update. The emoji is slightly different on each platform. Apple, for instance, has a smiling smiley face on the box, while WhatsApp uses a phone with a speech balloon on the TV and fries that are angled to the right.


The word chip is almost always used in the US to refer to thin, crispy, and seasoned potato slices. In the UK, fries are what they call. The name of the dish is not the only difference. Chips tend to be thicker than the thin slices of potato that are often served with fast food in North America. In the US, these chips are more similar to steak fries. The name is appropriate despite the differences. A fragment is a small or thin piece of food, such as chocolate chips. You can use the same definition for small amounts of potatoes.


French fries are not a popular name for fried potatoes in France. They’re actually called pommes Frites or, even more simply, fries. In French, potatoes are pommes d’ terre (“apples of earth”), while fried means free. Just as Americans shorten French Fries into fries, so do French speakers shorten potato fries into fritesFrites are also used in the US as a way to describe fries that are thicker and more Belgian or French in style. These are also known as steak Frites or steak Fries. They are large cuts of fried potatoes that are similar in size to British chips. The S in French is silent, but it’s often used in American English for the plural.

patatas bravas

Spain fries potatoes differently than Americans. They are not wedges or rectangles. In Spain, the classic way to serve fried potatoes is in small cubes. The Spanish version is called Patatas Bravas, spicy potatoes. The potatoes themselves aren’t spicy, but the sauce made with tomato and smoked paprika (no mayonnaise or ketchup here) adds a kick. This is a favorite among the delicious Tapas that are served all over the country.


This Peruvian version of French Fries includes sausage. Salchipapas combines the Spanish words for potatoes and sausage ( Salchicha). The links are cut as thinly as possible and tossed together with fries. They’re then served with a spicy chili sauce.

moules frites

It’s no surprise that Belgium is the birthplace of the French fry. A meal featuring fries as the centerpiece should be considered a national dish. Moules Frites is a mussel dish ( moules) served with fries ( Frites). The mussels are flavored with cream, parsley, and white wine. Fries add crunch and help soak up the juice.