Food Words: jargon for people who love food

better food words jargon

What are they?  |  Where can I learn more?

What are food words? 

Food words are words that are related to food and eating (not the names of foods themselves, because that’s a whole ‘nother story).  When people say words in relation to food, they utter the usual: food, eat, hungry, delicious, etc.  It has even become commonplace to just use sounds like “mmm” and “nom nom.”Yes, food is a primal need, but that doesn’t mean it should always have primitive descriptions.  The world of food deserves better because the English language provides so much more.  It’s sort of like a ham sandwich…nothing wrong with it, but having a slice of ham between two slices of white bread can get boring.  Sometimes you’ll want to upgrade it to some rosemary sourdough, prosciutto, arugula, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We already covered the difference between foodies and food lovers and all the alternate words you could use to describe yourself as someone who really likes food.

Now, we’ll cover alternate words you can use for all the rudimentary terminology usually used for food and food-related words.  The last thing you want is for someone to discover you really love food so they start talking about “masticating” issues, but you don’t know quite how to respond.  So, we’ve created a short list of words that you, as a food lover (and anyone in the food realm), should know.  Plus, you can use this vocabulary in place of those humdrum words that have already been used a billion times.

A word of advice: Use these words sparingly.  Don’t start spitting out them out in random conversations, otherwise, you’ll sound like pompous—like a scene in Idiocracy (a 2006 comedy film predicting life in 2505).

Other words for “food”:

  • aliment – food; anything edible that nourishes
  • comestible – edible, or an item of food
  • fodder – food like dried hay or feed for livestock
  • ingesta – material that is ingested
  • kickshaw – a dish or delicacy
  • manna – food miraculously provided to the Israelites through their journey
  • pabulum – bland food
  • provisions – a stock of food; food supplies
  • repast – a meal or banquet
  • sustenance – nourishment; food supplies
  • viand – an item of food
  • victualage – food usable by people; food supplies
  • victual / vittle – food usable by people; food supplies

Other words for “eat”:

  • edacious – devouring; consuming
  • ingurgitate – to eat greedily
  • gollop – to eat or drink greedily; a variation of gulp
  • gormandize – to enjoy fine foods & drinks
  • masticate – to chew or grind with teeth; reduce to a pulp
  • slonk – to swallow greedily
  • voracious – consuming or craving large amounts of food

Other words for “delicious”:

  • ambrosial – extremely pleasing to the taste or smell
  • delectable – highly pleasing; delightful
  • piquant – stimulating to the taste; pleasantly spicy or tart
  • toothsome – pleasing flavor or texture

Other words related to hunger:

  • borborygmos – an audible rumbling in the stomach, from hunger or other stomach issues
  • esurient – hungry or greedy
  • famished – extremely hungry
  • peckish – a little hungry
  • ravenous – extremely hungry; eager for food
  • voracious – wanting large amounts of food

Other miscellaneous food words you should know:

  • allotriophagy – a craving for weird or strange foods
  • deipnophobia – a fear of attending dinner parties
  • gustatory – relating to eating or tasting
  • hyperphagia – to eat too much
  • orthorexia nervosa – an eating disorder regarding an excessive obsession with eating healthy
  • pantophagy – to eat all kinds of foods; omnivorousness
  • postprandial – after dinner or a meal

Where can I learn more about food words?

If you are interested in learning more about food words, food writing and different types of food-related literature, there are plenty of resources available.  Some of the best books you can get about food words and writing are available here

Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.