October 10, 2021

What’s in a name? Cupcake or Patty cake?

I have long been fascinated with how the English language can change, depending on the country in which you live, or with the varying social and cultural backgrounds that are prevalent.

Here in Australia, you can virtually just about always tell in which State someone has grown up, by what name they might give a specific item, or how they pronounce a word. For example, just start talking about the apparel you wear when you are swimming: it could be swimmers, bathers, cozzies, or togs, and the chosen word will immediately reveal a person’s location or background.

Then start saying “dance” or “enhance” and you will know on which side of the State border someone lives by how they pronounce the 'a' in the word!

So it is with those little cakes designed to serve one person, the ‘cupcake’. Growing up in
Australia, we hadn’t heard of such a word. A ‘cupcake’ is surely a cake cooked in a cup! We always called them ‘patty cakes’. Evidently this comes from the nursery rhyme:

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it and prick it, and mark it with B,
Put it in the oven for Baby and me.

(or the initial and word ‘baby’ replaced with a child’s name).

It’s only in recent years, that the American ‘cupcake’ has taken over. (In Australian super-markets, we still buy paper ‘patty pans’ in which to cook our ‘patty cakes’!) Well, what’s in a name? They taste good, no matter what we call them!

So, in deference to my American friends, I present to you the October cupcake Hexie!

It's part of the Gentle Gems Hexies of the Month Programme. The other October Hexie is another umbrella, complete with pretty pink surrounds:

The patterns for these two Gentle Gems Hexies have been sent to all who have joined the 2021 Hexies of the Month programme. There's just one month left in the programme, but it’s not too late to join and it’s very reasonably priced, so hop over here for all the details.

I know a lot of stitchers are starting to think about Christmas, so here are a couple of patterns that might spark your interest. The "All is calm, all is bright" Christmas ornaments are very quick and fun to make and are a great way to use up fabric scraps.  

and what about this little Pudding Bauble that you could make for your Christmas tree - or as a gift for a friend, or a school-teacher:

Both patterns are very reasonably priced and meet the "fun, quick and easy" category!

After more than three weeks in lockdown, Aged Care facilities are open and I can once again go and visit hubby. It's amazing how much these visits lift my spirit and put a smile on my face!

I am working steadily on the 2022 Block of the Month project and it's coming together beautifully, or so a friend told me when I showed her!

Happy stitching!


  1. What's in a name... a word? Such an interesting topic, isn't it? When I visited Australia, I noticed all the words used that are different than what we use in the US. In fact, I made a list. Once I did so, I realized that Australian's shorten every word - like you have less time to spend (waste) on talking. Maybe you have more important things to do? Say? :-) I've not heard the term patty-cake, except for the nursery rhyme. And honestly, I didn't know what a patty-cake was, other than to imagine some kind of dough that was patted down. So glad to know they refer to the fabulous cupcake. Yours is adorable, though my heart is after that pretty umbrella, picturing an idyllic time when women wore long dresses, bonnets, and carried parasols. Ahhh.

  2. How cute!! We sing the patty cake song, but I never realized it was a cupcake. Lol I imagined the patty cake was like a pancake/flap jack! 😜 cute hexies!!

  3. Val, I didn’t realise you weren’t able to visit your hubby. That would have been hard for you. Yes we were brought up with patty cakes and we wore togs when swimming and carried a port to school. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

  4. Funnily enough - I had a similar conversation about patty cakes last week - I think I've grown so accustomed to "cup cakes" that I cant recall if I called them patty cakes when I was young.
    . Being from NSW I never called a school bag a "port" - nor a dressing table a "duchess"


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