The meaning and origin of words and phrases related to kebabs
A kebab is a term for small chunks of meat, poultry flesh, seafood, fruits or vegetables that are threaded onto a skewer and then barbecued or grilled. Kebabs are a popular feature of Middle Eastern cuisine. The word comes from the Arabic for roast meat, kabāb.
A shish kebab is meat (generally lamb) cooked on a skewer and cooked over open flames. Shish kebabs are generally served with rice and vegetables or a salad. They may be served with the meat still on the skewers or already removed. The name is first recorded in American English, in 1914, in Sinclair Lewis's novel Our Mr. Wrenn ‘‘I'm sure you'll like shish kebab.’ It was borrowed into English from the Armenian shish kabab, from the Turkish şiş 'skewer' + kebap 'roast meat'.
A doner kebab consists of minced and seasoned lamb that is roasted on a vertical spit. The meat is then cut off in thin slices and served in pitta bread with a salad. First recorded in 1958, the name is from the Tutkish döner kebap, from döner (participal adj. meaning rotating) + kebap 'roast meat'.
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