Non U.S-ers - what's your word for...

Half-popped popcorn kernels? I grew up in the Northern U.S. calling them ‘grannies’ and fighting over them w/ my brother. My mom won’t eat them (or she was saving them for us, that would be a mom thing to do on reflection).

I figure the Germans have to have some angtsy word that sums up the whole idea of ‘a kernel of popcorn which does not fully pop and remains small and crunchy but not likely to break your tooth’.

I am from the UK and we don’t to my knowledge have a word for them. I call them “popcorn that didn’t pop” and I love 'em.

Heck, I live in the US and I’ve never heard a word for them. Grannies? Never heard it.

We called 'em “old maids.” Also northern US.


The same as the midwest, southwest - whatever the heck Oklahoma is.

“Old maid” is an unpopped kernel. I never heard it used for a partially popped one.
In fact, I don’t recall hearing it used for even unpopped kernels until I was an adult.

“Unpopped kernel.” Trenton, NJ. I’ve heard “old maid,” but only since I moved away, and maybe only on TV.


Here in California, we’ve always called them “unpopped kernels”. I didn’t know we needed a special word…

That’s what I’ve heard, southeastern US. I’d never heard “old maid” until recently on this board.

Michigan here. Never heard a specific word for them. I call 'em “unpopped kernels.”

I thought “old maids” were the completely unpopped ones, still in their original smooth condition. Half-popped ones don’t have a name, but they’re the best, so I just call them “mine!”

For some reason (surely due to some chemical I prefer to think doesn’t exist in my food) the unpopped kernels from microwave popcorn invariably are the yummiest grannies when you repop them w/ your next batch. You know, the mushroom shape that looks straight out of Mario Bros?

Old maids - I got it from my mom who grew up in Colorado, but I’m in the upper midwest in the US. I’m not sure if it refers only to unpopped kernels or to unpopped and half-popped kernels alike, though. (Probably because I don’t eat them. More for you guys.)

I have no word for either, but I like “Old Maids” for the unpopped ones (even though it is terribly misogynistic). Maybe we need to invent a word for half-popped ones - slackers?

ETA: I mean, call the half-popped ones “slackers,” not that you guys are slackers. I couldn’t possibly comment on that. :slight_smile:

I’ve never called those anything except “unpopped popcorn/kernels.”

New York.

I’ve never heard a word used to describe them.

I’ve heard them called old maids, but I don’t call them that.

Kewpies. (A derivative of ‘NQPs’ - ‘not quite popped.’)

As a German, not only have I not heard a word for it, I’ve yet to come across such a thing. I’ve only ever seen the completely unpopped ones that stay in the bottom of the bag and I’m sure earn dentist all over the world billions.