What do you call a room in a house for storing food?

Pantry emerged as the dominant term used to describe a room in a house for storing food.

Larder and cupboard were almost equally as popular. The word you use likely reflects where you grew up. Pantry is most commonly used in the northern regions of England, while larder is mainly used by people who grew up in the south. Those hailing from East Anglia, with their dominant use of pantry, seem to be the exception to the rule.

However, an exception lies in East Anglia, where pantry is more common than larder or any of the alternatives. Pantry enjoys a higher proportion of usage in the northern regions of the country, with the exception of some areas in Northumberland, where pantry can be heard alongside cupboard, the latter of which is generally more common than its competitors in the south of the country.

The term scullery has a strong presence in the northeast, particularly between the counties of Durham and Northumberland. Meanwhile, cellar is most commonly used in areas like Bradford and Leeds. Only two respondents reported using the term cwtch, signifying that this word may be on the verge of obscurity in England.

A closer look at the age of respondents points to a shift in the way we describe food storage in England over time. The 1900s and early 2000s have witnessed a rise in the use of the word cupboard, especially by younger generations. By contrast, larder was only used by a handful of young speakers in our survey. The term dairy, predominantly found in the northeast of England, is almost exclusively used by those aged 55 and over, and seems to be obsolete among people aged under 35.

This bar graph animation shows how the use of these words has changed over time.

Interactive words map

Click this button to view the different responses to this question on a map.

You can tick the boxes on the side to select a word and show the places the word was used by the people who completed The Great Big Dialect Hunt. This map is based on where people grew up, not where they live now.