Blancmanges and Europuddings

In British English there are some words related to pudding, which are not very complimentary. I often wondered why people would use puddings as an insult.  Let’s have a look.

I first heard of students being described as puddings and probably used it myself too. The profile of such a person would be a sort of lump in the corner of the classroom barely reacting to anything and hard to move or enthuse.  Solid and lacking in any inspiration.  I have also heard blancmange used in a similar way.

Those three puddings never opened their mouth during the whole lesson.

Alfie just sits there like a blancmange and expects everyone to entertain him.


Blancmange, pronounced /bləˈmɒndʒ/ with the ‘nc’ silent is a sort of cross between a milk pudding and a jelly.   White and insipid with a jellyish tremble if touched.  Probably an acquired taste as milk and cornstarch are not immediate partners in my book.

I believe it was the name of a successful band too.


Europudding was common in the last decade, though you hear it less seldom.  It described movies made by the combined money and efforts of various European nations. The actors would come from different countries putting up the money, the film could well have been in a “neutral” language like English even though none of the protagonists were native speakers and there was no good artistic reason to use it. Many of this type of film are stolid or heavy and unconvincing as they are built more from financial compromise than from pure artistic vision.  Perhaps the Eiffel Tower appears simply to sell the film rather than being part of the story.

Henry invested in a film last year.  Typical Europudding. Boring, incomprehensible and sank like a stone at the box office despite the cast of famous actors and the pretty landscapes in it.