Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Hamdog also hamdog

noun [countable] trademark

a combination of a hotdog and a hamburger in a specially designed bread bun

'A man in Australia has successfully patented, and started selling, the Hamdog – a combination of a hotdog and a burger in one bun …, he is selling the Hamdogs at fairs and markets in Western Australia and looking for people interested in taking on a franchise.'

BBC 20th September 2016

Vegetarians of a delicate disposition, brace yourselves …

Burgers and hotdogs, cocooned within bread buns and piled high with fried onions and ketchup, are the stalwarts of catering vans at large-scale events, their distinctive aroma detectable from some distance away. But it now seems that hungry spectators salivating in the queue and struggling to decide what snack to go for may no longer have to deliberate between sausage and burger options. Enter the Hamdog, the carnivorous extravaganza which encompasses the best of both worlds.

a hybrid of two of our best loved meaty fast foods, hamburgers and hotdogs.

A Hamdog is, surprise, surprise, a hybrid of two of our best loved meaty fast foods, hamburgers and hotdogs. It consists of a conventional burger patty of minced beef, which has been sliced down the middle into two equal semi-circles, thereby leaving just the right space to accommodate a juicy pink frankfurter sausage. This indulgent union of meatiness is then sandwiched between two halves of a specially moulded Hamdog bread bun, shaped like a dome which narrows into thinner fingers either side (if you’re struggling to visualise it, you can see an example of the real thing here). This is then topped off with cheese, pickles, lettuce and tomato, and no less than three sauces – mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise.

This kind of health hazard on a plate may be your worst nightmare, but if not, and the above description sounds like a lip-smacking treat, then sadly you may have to wait a while to get your hands on (or your chops round) one. As I write, Hamdogs are only available in Australia, wider investment for the idea yet to be secured. One issue still to be resolved before availability can be scaled up is automating production of the specially shaped buns, which are currently made by hand. Still, it’s probably only a matter of time, and vegetarians beware – gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian variants are allegedly just around the corner …

Background – hamdog

The Hamdog was created in 2004 by Australian Mark Murray, who successfully acquired a US patent for his invention in 2009. In 2015 Murray appeared on the TV programme Shark Tank, the Australian equivalent of the UK’s Dragon’s Den in which would-be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors. Despite being turned down for funding at that time, he continues to persevere with his business idea, attracting global publicity in 2016. Murray’s is not the only hamdog around however. In 2005 an astonishingly artery-clogging version was invented in the US which is deep fried and includes chips and a fried egg!

Hamdog follows a number of lexico-culinary blends which have appeared in recent years, some more successfully than others. Among the less popular creations is the pineberry, a watery blend of strawberry and pineapple which is allegedly pretty tasteless. More appealing inventions include bakery hybrids like the duffin, a satisfying blend of doughnut and muffin, or smushi, a combo of sushi and smørrebrød forming a tasty appetizer of small pieces of bread topped with fish.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

Last month …

Read last month's BuzzWord. Gig economy.

This article was first published 7th February 2017.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog