Goozlum Is The Catch-All Northwestern Slang For Slurp-Able Sauces

Regional food names can be quirky and fun, instill a sense of pride in the communities to which they are associated, and even attract national and international attention. Think of Louisville's connection to the Hot Brown, an open-faced turkey sandwich topped with bacon and smothered in a Mornay sauce (via The Brown Hotel). Then there is the incomparable, silly-sounding Fluffernutter sandwich traditionally eaten in New England, a delightful mix of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff wedged between two slices of bread.

Each of these culinary names has a unique origin story behind it that links it to a specific geographical location. But other times the same dish, beverage, or condiment has a different name, typically expressed as informal slang, depending on the place in which it's found. Soft drinks are variously called soda, pop, or Coke in America based on where you live; that sub your devouring can be a hoagie in Philadelphia or a grinder in certain sections of New England (per Yahoo). Then there is goozlum, the catch-all Northwestern term for slurp-able sauces.

Guzzlin' some goozlum

To the uninitiated, goozlum may sound like a made up word, or at the very least doesn't conjure up images of something appetizing or appealing. But it does exist, at least in the form of slang, as another way to describe sauces such as gravy or syrup. Its origin has been linked to logger parlance in the Pacific Northwest (via American Speech) and to Nebraska as a word for syrup (per Green's Dictionary of Slang).

The website describes it as a way to refer to a gummy or sticky substance like gravy or a soup. The Free Dictionary defines goozlum as a "slimy substance, especially gravy," although it's hard to recall any gravy consisting of a "slimy" texture. It seems like that would be one of the signs that your food has gone bad, but that's a different topic for a different article. In the Dictionary of American Regional English, there is the word goozle, which is also written as goozlem, meaning the throat or windpipe. Hey, who wants to guzzle some goozlum down their goozlem?