I"m Irish, and hence speak Hiberno-sdrta.net. Here is a photograph of some sliced bread:

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The topmost slice of this (that"s crust on the end), is called "the heel". Is this meaning for "heel" understood in British sdrta.net?


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Further to what others have said, I (growing up in London and York) was familiar with heel to mean that slice, but it wasn’t common — the usual term for that slice was the crust. (So crust had a dual meaning for us — both the outside of the bread in general, and the slice at either end that consists mostly of crust.)


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I wouldn"t use it myself, but I have heard it - though in a slightly different sense. I wouldn"t understand "the piece of a sliced loaf that happens to be the crust" so much as "an unsliced loaf from which all but a couple of slices have been cut".

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Yes, it is understood in British sdrta.net too; one of the meaning of heel reported by the NOAD and the OED is the following:

a crusty end of a loaf of bread, or the rind of a cheese.


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I"m Irish but my parents are sdrta.net. I"d certainly understand heel, but in our house it"s called the dobie end. I have no idea what the origin of that phrase is.


I am Irish-American and both sets of my grandparents (raised by Irish immigrants) and my parents referred to the ends of a loaf of bread as the humbo.


60% of the US who are ancestors of European immigrants use the term "heel" for the end of a loaf of bread. It shows this amount on the US Dialect survey map. I found it on Google. Especially NJ and NY have used this word the most.

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I call it the heel, and I"m sure I learned that word from my mum who was born in Durham England. She "came over" as a child with her parents and 3 sisters in 1920 or thereabouts, and ended up in Pennsylvania.I think all my cousins and nieces and nephews know the word "heel" as it relates to a loaf of bread.


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