What Do You Call the End of a Loaf Bread?

Many Americans call the end of a loaf of bread the “heel” more than any other words, according to a linguistics survey conducted by a Harvard professor. Other words commonly used are end, crust and butt.

The survey, which is called the “Harvard Dialect Survey,” was the brainchild of Harvard linguistics professor Dr. Bert Vaux. The main objective of the survey was to investigate the variations between the phonological and lexical differences of words in spoken English in the United States.

With the help of Scott Gelder and Marius Jondal, Vaux posted 122 questions, which included questions about the pronunciation of the word “aunt” and or the word used to refer to a paternal grandfather. It was a multiple choice type questionnaire, with the option for participants to provide extra information. The results of the survey were then charted on a map of the United States.

The survey showed that the word “heel” that is used to refer to the end of a loaf of bread was used by 61 percent of participants, primarily in the Midwestern United States. About 15 percent of the participants call the end of a loaf of bread “end,” 14 percent call it crust and 3 percent use the call it “butt.”