Our grocery supplier gives us a free copy of the Times with every delivery, so I suppose I shouldn't complain about the quality of other freebies since the Galaxy incident, but this week we got this stuff (photo swiped from Wikipedia):
On the back, it promises "the healthier milkshake that's packed full of flavour". But this is milkshake (or milk shake as most dictionaries would have it) in the BrE sense to mean what most AmE speakers would simply call chocolate milk. I'll give you here the OED definition of milk shake:
milk shake n. orig. U.S. a cold drink made of milk, a sweet flavouring, and typically ice cream, mixed together as by shaking or whisking until smooth and frothy.Typically ice cream? No, definitely ice cream!** And not the piddly amount of ice cream that the shake shops in Brighton use. A LOT OF ICE CREAM. And some malt powder (or syrup), please! (Gourmet Burger Kitchen does ok, but lime is a rather odd flavo(u)r for a shake from an American perspective. But they're from New Zealand. Who knows what they do there?)
Some Americans will be quick to point out that they happily use milk shake to refer to milk mixed with some sweet flavo(u)ring and no ice cream. But they're from in/near Boston, where they use the term frappe (rhymes with cap) for proper (ice-creamful) milk shakes. So, they have an excuse. But the British have no such excuse for advertising milk shakes on café menus and then stirring a bit of Nesquik*** into a glass of (BrE) semi-skimmed and charging a (orig. AmE in this sense) premium for it.
I'm just grumpy, of course, because I'm on a diet and instead of having mostly-ice-cream malted milkshakes, I'm having water--with a slice of orange in it when I'm really treating myself. The upside, though, is that I did taste the low-fat Yazoo drink that I was sent, and I don't feel that I'm missing much. In fact, I'm glad to have an excuse to pour it down the drain, even though the perpetual student in me thinks: "FREE CALORIES MUST BE CONSUMED."
* I can't believe this hasn't caught on more in the US. No, not naming vehicles after produce--having your groceries delivered. It's wonderful. I suppose that in the land of cars, it's not as much of a service.
** Note that certain fast food establishments sell shakes. Not milk shakes, because they can't legally advertise them as containing milk. Those may not have ice cream in them, but they at least try to mimic a milk shake with ice cream.
*** Apparently, it's now called Nesquik in the US as well as the UK, but when I was a kid in the US, it was called Nestlé Quik.
P.S. My friend Todd sent this in response to this post--and I thought it was worth sharing!