Let me start by saying that gyroscopes are cool. Right? I’ve always been intrigued and impressed by the mechanics of them. Circles and spheres working with gravity…yep, very cool indeed.
Now let’s jump to the county fair last summer, which didn’t run entirely thanks to covid, but did have some of the food booths set up. We wanted to support it so went out to see what they had. We ended up at a truck we’ve never visited before, and as we stood in line forever, we got to watch them preparing the food. We were especially intrigued by the rotating spits of meat that the servers shaved, seasoned, and nestled into soft pita. Yeah, I’d never had a gyro before, but we tried them that day and fell in love.
In a conversation a few weeks ago about this lovely meal (and whether the Arby’s version would be as good), we were naturally fumbling over how to pronounce it–there are so many variations! My husband decided, “I’m going to pronounce it like ‘gyroscope.'” We looked at each other, that Word of the Week expression on both our faces, as a light bulb went on. They’re related! OF COURSE they are! They’re both all about that rotation, right?
Right! I looked them up just to be sure, and both the food and the device do both come from the Greek gyros, which means “a circle.” Gyroscopes were first invented and hence named in the 1850s. Gyre has been in the English language since the 1560s to describe “a rotating motion” and the sandwich, traditionally of roasted lamb, got its name in the 1970s. The word was first applied to the meat rather than the sandwich itself, because of the spinning roasting method.
I love it when we’re right. 😉 (And also, the Arby’s version is pretty tasty! We just tried them out yesterday, LOL.)