enter image description here

According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, it seems that this is called "a packet of crisps" (Lognman | crisp), but the same dictionary says that "packet" is British English. (Longman | packet) I would like to know what native speakers of American English would call the picture above.

[Edit] The first time I saw the picture, I thought native AE speakers would call it "a bowl of potato chips", but according to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a bowl is "round" (Longman | bowl), so I am assuming that "a bowl of potato chips" does not work.

  • 25
    That's a bowl of crisps, not a packet.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 10:52
  • 11
    American usage is dominated by bag of chips, but British English are as likely to use packet of crisps or bag of chips. Nobody uses packet of chips much. Note that BrE chips are AmE French fries. Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 11:02
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers I have (to my shame) bought packets of 'ridge cut' smoky bacon flavour Walkers crisps (when I was working in a Civil Service office with a canteen); they looked like the ones in the picture. To me, in the UK, packet of crisps and bag of crisps are both equally valid. As you say, 'chips' are what foreigners call them. In France they are pommes chips, and guess who eat Kartoffelchips? Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 11:15
  • 4
    Why are so many commenters averse to submitting them as reasonable answers? Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 13:09
  • 10
    The dictionary is misleading. It quotes the common phrase packet of crisps but, as Stuart says, shows a picture of a bowl of them, presumably so that you can see them clearly! Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 16:42

2 Answers 2


As an American I would say that's a bowl of (potato) chips. If I wanted to be specific I would say they're wavy potato chips or "ruffles". You can drop the word "potato" since that's what people will assume when you say "chips". We do not call them crisps here.

While bowls are usually round (all of mine are), they don't have to be. See for example this "Square Cereal Bowl". If it's supposed to be used in the same way a round bowl would be used, it's still called a bowl.

A packet (or bag, which is the word I would use) of chips is something else entirely. See for example this bag of chips; the bag is made of some foil material and is airtight before you open it.

  • 1
    Note "ruffles" is a genericized brand name. Some pedants (or lawyers) might object to the use if the chips are a different brand, but it's mostly fine.
    – aschepler
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 15:39
  • "We do not call them crisps here" It might be worth noting that Pringles are called 'crisps' and labelling them (or similar products) as 'chips' is false advertising in the US.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 19:49
  • 1
    @JimmyJames except that everyone just calls those "Pringles" (even the off-brand ones).
    – Esther
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 20:10
  • Personally (AmEng) I would not assume potato chips if someone mentioned bringing chips to a party. Tortilla chips would seem equally likely.
    – nasch
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 20:34
  • @JimmyJames I knew I smelled lawyers: The US Food and Drug Administration weighed in on the matter, and in 1975 they ruled Pringles could only use the word "chip" in their product name within the phrase: "potato chips made from dried potatoes". Faced with such a lengthy and unpalatable appellation, Pringles eventually renamed their product potato "crisps", instead of chips.Wikipedia
    – Laurel
    Commented Nov 20, 2023 at 20:39

An image of an opened bag of potato chips next to a front-on view of a similar unopened bag.

The above image shows an opened bag of potato slices (that have been sliced thin and deep-fried) next to an unopened bag.

In the UK, these bags would each be called a "packet of crisps".

In the US, these bags would each be called a "bag of chips".

The image you have included from Longman Dictionary's definition for "crisp" seems to be intended as an example of the potato "crisps" themselves, and not as an example of a "packet of crisps". More specifically, that image depicts "crisps" in a serving bowl.

  • 1
    In the UK, we can use either 'bag' or 'packet'; we are not confined to just 'packet'. Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 21:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .