Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

That's a great question, Vincent. Unfortunately, there's really no answer. Some of the examples you cited are compound nouns, written as one word (pancake, cheesecake), but the others are called noun adjuncts, written as two words (blueberry cake, chocolate cake). That's English. Frown

Richard

@bear_bear That's exactly the question I come up with when I am looking for information about compound nouns online. But later on, I personally think that I figure out the clue why 'cheesecake' is a one-word closed type of compound noun. Cheesecake is not entirely made up of cheese, or more accurately, we at least cannot find the presence of cheese throughly in every single part of the cake body (unlike the cases of 'chocolate cake' , 'butter cake' or even 'turnip cake'). Thus, I dogmatically consider 'cheesecake' as a kind of cake recipe/ a specific kind of cake instead of simply a cake made up of cheese.

The meaning of the closed compound noun cannot be directly discovered by knowing the meaning of the different word components that form it. Examples such as 'pancake', 'mooncake', 'cupcake' and the more extreme one 'beefcake' are all cases in point. Moreover, the closed compound noun 'cheesecake' is often preceded by different noun adjuncts (or qualifying nouns) like 'strawberry', 'blueberry', 'lemon', or 'New York' etc. in different recipes. Therefore, the closed feature of the word 'cheesecake' without any space may help in causing less confusion when it comes to the situation like 'strawberry_cheese_cake' as the whole thing can possibly mean 'the cheesecake with strawberry or its flavor added in', 'the cake with strawberry and cheese' or even 'the strawberry cake with cheese'. In cases like 'strawberry cheesecake', 'lemon cheesecake' or 'New York cheesecake', the uniqueness of it as a specific kind of cake recipe nearly outkicks the interpretation of cheese as the major ingredient from the nature of its name.

All in all, 'cheesecake' is to be more convenient to use than 'cheese_cake' as we can all see how great many different cheesecake recipes there are online.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×