Today’s comic is Family Circus. This one features Billy and his grandmother. He wants to know why his food feels and tastes hot even though its name “chili” would make someone think the dish should be cold.
“Grandma, this chili you made isn’t chilly at all.” – Billy
What is Chili?
Chili is short for “Chili con carne” which is Spanish for “Chili with meat”. The dish is a spicy stew made with beans, meat, tomatoes, and chili peppers. The dish Chili is named after the chili peppers.
The dish Chili comes from the State of Texas located in the South West region of the United States of America (USA). The dish was first created in the 1800s. Some people say the dish is Mexican and others say that it is American. The confusion is related to Texan American history. The State of Texas has been part of three countries. Until the 1830s it was part of Mexico. For a short time it was an independent country on its own. Texas joined the USA in 1846.
Why is Chili hot?
Describing the dish of Chili as hot does not just refer to the temperature of the freshly cooked dish. Chili is supposed to taste hot because the chili pepper is very hot and spicy. Because of this well-known fact, people often just call the chili pepper, chili. Even cold Chili would still taste hot and spicy because of the chili peppers.
Chili vs. Chilly
Chili and chilly are homophones. Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have a different meaning.
Chili is a dish so it is a noun. A noun is a person, place, or a thing. Chili is a food and food is thing.
Chilly is an adjective. An adjective describes a noun. Being chilly means something, someone, or someplace is cold.
It is very common for people that have never heard of the dish Chili or the chili pepper before to think that the dish Chili should feel and taste cold. This is why a child like Billy or someone unfamiliar with the dish would think Chili must be cold.
In conclusion, Chili is not chilly. The adjective (chilly) does not describe the noun (Chili). The words do not mean the same thing; they are homophones. Lastly, the dish does not feel cold or taste cold.