I would like to know what shape are french fries? For e.g, onion rings are circular shaped, sandwiches are triangular shaped so how would I described the shape of a french fry.

The context I want to use it is something like this,

Let's say I am cooking food with someone, I have to tell them to cut some vegetable like cucumber in the shape of a fry(fries?) basically flat, elongated. You can cut slices of cucumber circular also but I want to cut them flat,long.

how should I say that?

  • Wikipedia uses the word baton though my first association wouldn't necessarily be with a shape.
    – blgt
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 15:41
  • 3
    Having reviewed a few french fry recipes, the most frequent word used is 'sticks' (which is 'batons' in French, so basically the same) Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 15:48
  • How specific do you want to be? I could argue onion rings are annular, not circular, for instance. And depending on the preparation, fries can be shaped not only as strips but as as wedges, shoestrings, waffles, or spirals :).
    – choster
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


If you are talking to someone who understands cooking, you can use the verb french:

  1. To cut (green beans, for example) into thin strips before cooking. (The Free Dictionary)

So you could say "You should french these cucumbers". (This is apparently an American usage and should probably be avoided in other regions.)

Technically speaking, french fries are in the shape of a parallelepiped:

A solid with six faces, each a parallelogram and each being parallel to the opposite face. (The Free Dictionary)

But that's not very useful in ordinary conversation, and doesn't define the ratio of the sides (long & thin vs. short & fat); if you don't want to use the verb french, simply describing the shape as you have ("long, flat strips") or as the dictionary has ("thin strips") should suffice, so you could say "cut the cucumbers into long, thin strips"; or, since french fries are a very well-known item to begin with, you could say "cut the cucumber into french fry-shaped pieces."

However, as french fries do come in different shapes and varieties (shoestring, steak-cut, waffle-cut, wedge, etc.), you may actually want to be even more specific and give actual dimensions: "Cut the cucumber into long, thin strips approximately 1/4-inch square and 2 to 3 inches long."

  • French fries come in different shapes (wedge-cut, curly, crinkle-cut, etc.). Most people will think of the long, thin kind when they hear "french fry". If you need to specify, you could say "like McDonald's french fries", since those are well-known.
    – Adam Haun
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 16:13
  • True. I will elaborate.
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 16:15
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    Or, if you're American, "You should freedom those cucumbers". Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 18:10
  • @AdamHaun I think you meant that 'fries' come in different shapes. Although "french fries" is sometimes used as an umbrella term, the other shapes you mentioned are usually expressed as 'potato wedges', 'curly-fries', 'crinkle-cut fries', and aren't really 'french fries' Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 18:19
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    No. "To french" is not a commonly understood verb in polite company. It is used by some people to mean "to perform oral sex on". You will get a very strange look if you tell someone "you should french these cucumbers". Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 19:31

The technical term from a cooking perspective is "batonnet", or French for "little stick." According to Wikipedia, this is ordinarily roughly equivalent to 0.25" x 0.25" x 2.5". In metric, that is approximately 0.635cm x 0.635cm x 6.35cm.

  • 1
    Welcome! Consider linking to the Wikipedia article you're quoting for completeness and to allow the readers to get more information.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 16:25

I can think of a few in UK English depending on what you are cutting and the exact shape or size


  • Cuboid
  • Square prism
  • Parallelepiped

Culinary - mostly loan words from French

  • Crudités
  • Batons
  • Juliennes (if really thin)

Colloquial culinary

  • Sticks
  • Soldiers (UK English for toast in think strips)
  • Chips (UK English for French Fries)
  • +1 for Juliennes, I've heard that one a lot in culinary TV shows
    – Lucky
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 16:17

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