Deviled vs devilled

  • Deviled is the accepted spelling in the United States and Canada for an adjective describing food that is seasoned with horseradish, mustard, paprika or pepper to impart a strong flavor. In other English-speaking countries, the spelling is devilled.


    Deviled eggs have been prepared since the Roman Empire, coming into modern popularity around 1940 and steadily rising until the present. Eggs are hard-boiled, then split and the yolks removed. After mashing the yolks with ingredients such as mayonnaise, mustard, paprika and other flavors, they are replaced inside the egg whites to make deviled eggs. They are served are cold. Other foods that are often deviled are crab, ham or kidneys.



    The chef, Patrick Rodemeyer, offers snacks like deviled eggs with candied bacon, and chicken wings with red curry-lime sauce, to accompany about 60 beers in a bookshelf-lined pub.(The New York Times)

    A peameal bacon sandwich with gougere, Dijon mustard, frisee and pickled jam; elk sausage with blueberry mustard; bloody caesar (horseradish custard and shrimp salad) and deviled egg with foie gras mousse. (The Huffington Post Canada)

    Costantino explained she seeks deviled crabs juicy enough not to require a dousing of hot sauce, and one pure with crab meat — not blended with fish. (Tampa Bay Times)

    In the US, where they’re considered “grandma food” par excellence, devilled eggs have been enjoying an unlikely renaissance as bar snacks, but here they’re only just starting to show up on hipster menus. (The Guardian)

    Devilled eggs or eggs mimosa is an afternoon tea party staple. (The Times of India)




    1. You know, on this one, I rather like the British interpretation. Its closer to the grammar school level Rules of English Spelling. If you look at “deviled” too long (or too quickly), you might parse it out as deviled. But vile is an adjective, not a verb. Most of us see it as the common word (be)devilled, and we’re OK with it.

      I’ll change to ‘devilled’, even though the mutton-headed auto-correction djinn seems to feel that the single L form is preferred. Red Squigs be dâmned!


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