One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American A flat cornmeal cake typically baked or fried on a griddle.
- ‘These early American corn breads, including the hoe cakes and johnny cake which attracted praise from Benjamin Franklin were griddle or hearth baked.’
- ‘Cornmeal and water or milk, cooked on a griddle, was called ‘johnny cake.’’
- ‘Served with cooked grits and johnny cake (a type of bread), they are a popular breakfast food.’
2NZ Australian A small, thin unleavened wheat loaf baked in wood ashes.
- ‘I've tasted his johnny cakes, flour mixed with salt and water on a fence post and cooked on a sheet of galvanized iron, zinc curling off around the dough.’
Early 18th century: also referred to as journey cake, which may be the original form.
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