Why The Great British Bake Off Goes By A Different Name In America

You might think you have a jolly good grasp of the English language until you go on vacation (er, holiday) in England. Ask where the elevator is and you might be greeted with a confused look. In England, an elevator is called a lift. Ask for directions to a grocery store and you'll learn supermarket is the preferred term. While there, you'll soon figure out that your shopping cart goes by the name trolley (via Britain and Britishness).

The forked path of American English and British English has many examples in the realm of food, too, per Food & Wine. Scratching your head over a menu that mentions a salad of "rocket?” That's arugula, mate. Order a biscuit in the United Kingdom, and you might be disappointed to see a chocolate chip cookie show up instead of a fluffy, buttery baked good swimming in gravy. Courgette and aubergine? That's zucchini and eggplant, respectively.

It doesn't end there. Americans and Brits share a love for a popular competition baking show on Netflix, but we can't seem to agree on what to call it. Brits know it as "The Great British Bake Off” and Americans know it as "The Great British Baking Show” (via The U.S. Sun). And there's a poppin' fresh reason for the case of dual identity.

Blame it all on Pillsbury and the Pillsbury Bake-Off

Pillsbury, the company that gave the world ready-to-bake pie crusts, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, and cookies (not to mention Toaster Strudels), has exclusive rights to the words "Bake Off,” according to Metro. It's copyrighted, which means no one else in this country can use it. That's why those of us in the States watch "The Great British Baking Show.” (Sorry, Paul Hollywood, we don't make the rules.)

Pillsbury held its first baking competition for home bakers in 1949. Back then, it was called the Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest. The name was later changed to Pillsbury Bake-Off. The contest has aired on TV since day one, originally on CBS and now homed on the Food Network. In addition to a lifetime of bragging rights, the winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off takes home big bucks in the form of a $50,000 cash prize.

By whatever name you know it, "The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show” has one thing in common with the Pillsbury Bake-Off: It spotlights everyday bakers hoping to impress the judges with prize-winning bakes and perhaps go on to become superstar bakers. We're looking at you, Nadiyah Hussain.