Today, i went to the supermarket to buy some stuff. Then, I realized that some are called "cookies" while some are called "biscuits"

So, my question is what are the difference between the both and when can i use them properly?

2 Answers 2


In British English, all cookies are biscuits, but not all biscuits are cookies.

A biscuit that isn't a cookie is baked hard and dry, usually pressed into a shape. Digestives, bourbons and custard creams are all pressed into a shape. Ginger nuts and hobnobs are slightly more irregular, but are still biscuits.

A biscuit

Cookies are more irregular in shape and can be hard or soft. They almost always have chocolate chips in them.

A cookie

There are also crackers. These are savoury biscuits to eat with cheese.

A cracker

If you're using British English, it's correct to call any of these things biscuits. Cookies are a type of biscuit.

  • So, if use biscuit everytime, I won't get wrong, right? Dec 11, 2014 at 13:00

In the United States, a "biscuit" is a small, usually round piece of bread, baked to make the top surface slightly hard. It is usually eaten as part of breakfast.

A "cookie" is sweet and baked so that it is hard. Usually crunchy hard but there are also "soft cookies", but these still are not like bread, they're still relatively hard. Cookies are something you would eat for desert.

This page -- http://thebarking.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/biscuit.jpg -- shows what most Americans think of when you say "biscuit".

This page -- http://prince.org/msg/100/397438 -- shows cookies. Those look like soft chocolate chip cookies to me. And now suddenly I'm getting hungry ...

I understand that UK usage is different, that in the UK they use the word "biscuit" for what Americans would call "hard cookies". Any Brits care to chime in and explain the usage there?

  • Yeah, I usually get confused as Malaysia use UK English instead of US English Dec 10, 2014 at 15:00

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