In most countries in the world, the most popular type of food people eat is the 'meat' from animals. The problem about remembering the English vocabulary for meat is not only that there are lots of different types, but sometimes the name of the meat is the same as the name of the animal, but other times, it is different.

This means that many people when they are in a restaurant or speaking to people about food, incorrectly say the name (e.g. 'I really like cow', 'I don't like pig' etc...).

Knowing (and more importantly remembering) the names of different types of meat will help you a lot when in a restaurant in a different country and when describing what food is to English-speaking friends or colleagues in your own country.

You probably already know some of the names of the different types of meat you'll see in this exercise, but there will be some that you won't. This exercise will help you to remember and use the types of meat you already know and teach you the names of some types of meat that you don't know in English.

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Exercise:

In the following conversation, Peter and his Spanish friend Juan are thinking about what food to order in a restaurant. Peter is explaining to Juan what the names of different types of meat are in English.

From the context, try to guess what type of meat the words in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Peter:'So, have you decided what you want to order?'

Juan:'I'm not sure. I don't know what some of the dishes are on the menu.'

Peter:'Which ones?'

Juan:'The roast pork. What is that?'

Peter:'Pork is the name for the meat from pigs.'

Juan:'So, the name of the meat an animal is different to the name of the animal? So, what is the name of the meat from chickens called then?'

Peter:'Sometimes in English the name for the meat of an animal is different to the name of the animal and sometimes it isn't. For example, the name for the meat from cows is normally called beef, but the meat from a chicken is still called chicken.'

Juan:'You have a stupid and confusing language, you know that.'

Peter:'Yes, I do. Do you know the names of other types of meat?'

Juan:'I think so. Is the meat from sheep called lamb?'

Peter:'Yes and no. The meat from baby or young sheep is called lamb, but the meat from sheep which are over a year-old is called mutton.'

Juan:'And what about the meat from baby cows? Is that still called beef?'

Peter:'No, the meat from baby or very young cows is called veal.'

Juan:'And the meat from baby pigs, does that have a different name than pork as well?'

Peter:'No, it's still called pork.'

Juan:'But I've heard the meat from pigs called another name than pork.'

Peter:'There's a type of pork which is salty (because they leave the meat in salt after they kill the pig) and often looks pink. In English, we call this type of pig meat ham.'

Juan:'Ham, that's what it's called. So, what's the name for the meat from that big bird. I can't remember the bird's name, but people traditionally eat it at Christmas.'

Peter:'Do you mean turkey?'

Juan:'That's the one.'

Peter:'The meat from a turkey is called turkey.'

Juan:'And the name of the meat of the bird that lives a lot on water, makes the sound 'quack, quack' and the Chinese eat a lot?'

Peter:'I think you are talking about a duck (like 'Donald Duck'). The name for its meat is the same, it is called duck.'

Juan:'Ok. And the name of the meat of rabbit (like 'Bugs Bunny'), is called rabbit I suppose?'

Peter:'Yes it is. And do you what the name of the meat of deer (like 'Bambi') is?'

Juan:'I suppose it's called deer?'

Peter:'No, it isn't. The meat of deer is called venison. And what is the name of the meat which comes from goats called?'

Juan:'Goats are the animals that have two horns on their heads and look a little evil?'

Peter:'Yes, those are the ones.'

Juan:'I have no idea.'

Peter:'The meat from goat, is called goat.'

Juan:'Thanks for explaining all of this.'


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Quiz:

Below is a photo/picture of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word from the question's selection box which you believe matches the photo/picture. Only use one word once. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...). In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1. office exercise photo

The meat from this animal is called              

Venison:
(noun) This is the name for meat which comes from a deer. 'venison' is not a commonly eaten meat.

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Venison:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2. office exercise photo

The meat from this animal is called              

Turkey:
(noun) The name for the meat from a turkey is like the animal called 'turkey'.

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Turkey:

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3. office exercise photo

The meat from a young sheep is called              

Lamb:
(noun) This is the name for meat which comes from young sheep (like the meat, the animal is called a 'lamb'). Meat from a sheep should only be called 'lamb' if the sheep is slaughtered (another to say an animal is killed for its meat) before it is 1-year-old.

'lamb' is the most commonly eaten meat that comes from sheep. When a sheep is older than a year, the meat is normally called 'mutton'.

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Lamb:

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4. office exercise photo

Meat from a cow that isn't young, is called              

Beef:
(noun) This is the name for most meat which comes from cows. The exception is when the meat comes from baby cows (called 'calves'), it is called 'veal' instead of 'beef'.

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Beef:

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5. office exercise photo

The meat from this animal is called              

Chicken:
(noun) The name for the meat from a chicken is like the animal called 'chicken'. Although not commonly used, if a chicken is very young (28 days-old or less) when it is slaughtered (another way to say an animal is killed for its meat), it is sometimes called a 'poussin'.

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Chicken:

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6. office exercise photo

The meat from this animal is called              

Rabbit:
(noun) The name for the meat from a rabbit is like the animal called 'rabbit'.

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Rabbit:

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7. office exercise photo

This type of meat from a pig is called              

Pork:
(noun) This is the name for most meat which comes from pigs. If the meat from a pig is preserved (to make it last longer) in anyway (by using salt or smoke), it is no longer called 'pork', but either 'ham' or 'bacon' instead.

If the meat comes from a baby pig (called a 'piglet') which is slaughtered (another to say an animal is killed for its meat) when it is between 2 to 6-weeks-old, the meat is called 'suckling pig' instead of 'pork'.

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Pork:

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8. office exercise photo

The meat from a young cow is called              

Veal:
(noun) This is the name for meat which comes from baby cows (called 'calves'). Normally, meat from a cow is called 'veal' if it is slaughtered (another to say an animal is killed for its meat) before it is 36-weeks-old. After this age, meat from cows is called 'beef'. 'veal' is less red in colour (it can sometimes look pink) than meat from older cows (called 'beef') and more expensive.

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Veal:

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9. office exercise photo

The meat from this animal is called              

Goat:
(noun) The name for the meat from a goat is like the animal called 'goat'.

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Goat:

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10. office exercise photo

Meat from a sheep that isn't young, is called              

Mutton:
(noun) This is the name for meat which comes from a sheep which when it is slaughtered (another way to say an animal is killed for its meat) it is aged one year or over. Meat from a sheep which is less than a year-old when it is slaughtered is called 'lamb'.

'mutton' is not commonly seen on menus (it is a lot more common to see 'lamb' dishes instead). The reason why, is that 'mutton' has a stronger taste and is tougher/more chewy than 'lamb'. As a result, 'mutton' is normally eaten in stews (like a soup with lots of pieces of things in it).

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Mutton:

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11. office exercise photo

This type of meat from a pig is called              

Ham:
(noun) This is a type of 'pork' (the name for the meat from pigs) which before it is eaten or cooked is left from days to months in salt. They do this to preserve the meat (to make it last for a longer time before it 'goes off' (when it can't be eaten because it has gone bad)). As a result, 'ham' normally has a more salty taste than normal 'pork'.

'ham' is mostly (but not always) made from the legs of pigs. A product which is similar to 'ham' (in how it is preserved) is 'bacon'. But that is made from the meat from different parts of the pig (e.g. from around the stomach of a pig or its back) to 'ham'.

Although 'ham' is normally made by using salt, it can also be made by using 'smoke' from wood instead of 'salt' to preserve the meat. This is a common way to make 'ham' in Germany.

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Ham:

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12. office exercise photo

The meat from this animal is called              

Duck:
(noun) The name for the meat from a duck is like the animal called 'duck'.

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Duck:

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.