The Origin of the Term 'Grinder' for Subs

Have you ever wondered why northerners call subs grinders? It's a common term in New England, but its origin has several possible explanations. One theory is that the name comes from Italian-American slang for a dockworker, who often ate these sandwiches. Others say it was called a grinder because the hard crust of the bread required a lot of chewing. The name likely has its roots in the fact that the traditional roll used is crunchy and can be difficult to chew, or in an Italian-American slang term used to refer to dock workers, who regularly enjoyed these sandwiches.

In New York, subs are more honorably referred to as heroes. It's the second most popular sandwich in town, behind Reuben. If you're in Connecticut counties just north of town, you can order a diagonal cut wedge.

Tristan Gagliardo
Tristan Gagliardo

Proud social media ninja. Bacon expert. Unapologetic gamer. Proud zombie nerd. Freelance pop culture scholar.

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