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Catsup vs. Ketchup: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 7, 2023
"Catsup" and "Ketchup" both refer to a tomato-based condiment, with "Ketchup" being the more commonly used term in modern American English.

Key Differences

"Catsup" and "Ketchup" are two terms that reference the same popular tomato-based condiment. However, their usage and acceptance differ based on historical and regional contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
"Ketchup" is the spelling that has won favor in American English and is the term you'll most likely encounter on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus in the United States. It's synonymous with the tangy, sweet sauce that accompanies fries, burgers, and more.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
Conversely, "Catsup" is an older term that has largely fallen out of popular usage but was once prevalent. This variation traces back to historical attempts at Anglicizing foreign terms for similar sauces.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
Both words have origins from Asian languages, signifying a brined fish sauce. Their transformation to a tomato-based condiment is a testament to cultural exchange and adaptation.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
In today's context, while "Ketchup" reigns supreme in popular nomenclature, "Catsup" remains a nod to the condiment's varied linguistic and culinary journey.
Janet White
Sep 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Modern Usage

Less common
Predominant in American English
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Historical Relevance

Older variation of the term
Evolved as the preferred spelling
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Linguistic Origin

Linked to earlier attempts at Anglicizing foreign terms
More standardized and accepted in contemporary language
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Product Labeling

Rarely seen on products today
Commonly found on product labels
Harlon Moss
Sep 28, 2023

Regional Preference

Was once common in certain parts of the U.S.
Universally accepted in the U.S.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023
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Catsup and Ketchup Definitions

Catsup

An older term for a tomato-based condiment.
He found a bottle of catsup in his grandmother's pantry.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Ketchup

A sauce made of tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
Ketchup is a staple in most American households.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Catsup

A historically common term for tomato sauce in the U.S.
Some older restaurants still have catsup listed on their menus.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Ketchup

A versatile condiment in Western cuisines.
She mixed ketchup with mayo to make a dip.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Catsup

A sauce made primarily from tomatoes, vinegar, and spices.
He spread catsup over his scrambled eggs.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Ketchup

A tomato-based condiment used widely in cuisines.
He poured ketchup over his fries.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Catsup

A condiment used to enhance the flavor of various dishes.
She added catsup to her burger for extra zest.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Ketchup

The preferred American term for a tomato sauce.
The ketchup bottle was nearly empty.
Sara Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Catsup

A variation of the word "ketchup."
The recipe called for catsup, but she used ketchup instead.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Ketchup

A tangy, sweet sauce accompanying many dishes.
No hotdog is complete without mustard and ketchup.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Catsup

Variant of ketchup.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Ketchup

A condiment consisting of a thick, smooth-textured, spicy sauce usually made from tomatoes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Catsup

Alternative form of ketchup
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Ketchup

(uncountable) A tomato-vinegar-based sauce, sometimes containing spices, onion or garlic, and (especially in the US) sweeteners.
Tomato ketchup
This diner serves ketchup in red bottles, and mustard in yellow ones.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Catsup

Same as Catchup, and Ketchup.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Ketchup

Such a sauce more generally (not necessarily based on tomatoes, but with mushrooms, fish, etc.).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Catsup

Thick spicy sauce made from tomatoes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Ketchup

(transitive) To cover with ketchup.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Ketchup

A pureed table sauce made predominantly from tomatoes, flavored with onions, sugar, salt and spices; called also tomato ketchup. The term is also applied to pureed sauces containing mushrooms, walnuts, etc., being called in such cases mushroom ketchup, walnut ketchup, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

Ketchup

Thick spicy sauce made from tomatoes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 17, 2022

FAQs

Is one term more correct than the other?

"Ketchup" is more commonly accepted in modern American English.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Was "Catsup" ever the dominant term?

Yes, in certain periods and regions, "Catsup" was more commonly used.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 28, 2023

Are "Catsup" and "Ketchup" the same thing?

Yes, they both refer to the same tomato-based condiment.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Why are there two different terms?

Both evolved from attempts to Anglicize foreign terms for similar sauces.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Is "Catsup" still used today?

While less common, "Catsup" can still be found in some older contexts.
Harlon Moss
Sep 28, 2023

Are the ingredients different for "Catsup" and "Ketchup"?

No, the ingredients are generally the same for both.
Janet White
Sep 28, 2023

Why is "Ketchup" more popular now?

Branding, product labeling, and regional preferences have made "Ketchup" the preferred term.
Harlon Moss
Sep 28, 2023

Can I use "Catsup" in recipes?

Yes, "Catsup" and "Ketchup" can be used interchangeably in recipes.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

How did the tomato-based condiment get its name?

Both terms have origins from Asian languages, denoting a brined fish sauce.
Sara Rehman
Sep 28, 2023

Are there differences in taste?

The taste primarily depends on the brand and recipe, not the term used.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Is there a difference in spelling between American and British English?

"Ketchup" is standard in both, but British English might also use "tomato sauce" for similar products.
Janet White
Sep 28, 2023

Why do some older people still use "Catsup"?

Historical product labeling and regional preferences influenced their terminology.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Is "Catsup" used outside the U.S.?

"Ketchup" is more universally recognized, but "Catsup" might be found in older references.
Janet White
Sep 28, 2023

How did "Ketchup" become the dominant term?

Branding and regional preferences played a significant role.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023

Can I find "Catsup" in supermarkets today?

It's rarer, but some retro or niche brands might use the term "Catsup."
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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