Posted by RRC on December 03, 2006
In Reply to: "Flat as a fritter" posted by R. Berg on December 02, 2006
: : : : : I've often heard "flat as a fritter" to explain how flat something is. Is "fritter" a pancake or does it refer to something else?
: : : : Pancake. There are lots of other things called fritters that are not quite as flat, and there are lots of other names for pancakes but that don't alliterate with flat.
: : : : SS
: : : Kansas, Dorothy's home before and after visiting Oz, is often referred to as "flat as a pancake." Some scientists did a study (one can only hope it was not tax-funded) that conclusively proved that it was even flatter. If you were to enlarge a pancake to the size of Kansas, it would have ups and downs and holes and such, and be much more rugged to cross. Food for thought. One would think that a fritter, which by definition has lumpy bits added into the batter, would be positively mountainous by comparison. Unrelated topographical note: if the earth were reduced to the size of a billiard ball, it would be smoother than a billiard ball. So there.
: : Bob's comments are very germane. Mrs. Stover has informed me that a pancake is not a fritter unless you add lumpy bits, like fruit, vegetables or meat. So why would you say "flat as a fritter," when "flat as a pancake" is such a very well-known expression. For the alliteration? For the lumpy bits?
: : SS
: You might say "flat as a fritter" if you lived in Kansas and had grown tired of hearing comparisons with pancakes. ~rb
"flat as a fLitter" is more common in my neck of the woods. OneLook finds _Dictionary of Americanisms_ FLITTER. A corruption of the word fritter, a pan-cake.