|Sherbet v sorbet|
Apparently old-fashioned sherbet has become sorbet. Why and when?|
The spelling and pronunciation have changed, now being pronounced soar-BAY, but the glop is still about the same, sort of like sweet, sticky frozen water. Or is it?
I haven't seen sherbet on a menu in a number of years. What gives?
I find that there is a slight, semantic difference. "Sorbet" refers only to the frozen desert but this is only one of the meanings of "sherbet" with the other one being a sweetened beverage containing cold fruit juice. They're etymologically linked to "serbet" (from the Persian and Turkish), but I don't find any basis for referring to the drink, as opposed to the mushy solid, as "sorbet."|
I'd opine that referring to the desert as sorbet had less to do finding an unambiguous term than a simple marketing spin of using a word with ending in a long "A" sound and spelled with a silent "T" to have it come off classier to the English-speaking ear.