What should I call a mixture with the consistency of pancake batter before the batter is cooked? Because that of course depends on the recipe, I'll add some details: It is not as fluid as water but much more fluid than bread dough. Typical images can be found there, there, there, and there. (These are not my photographs, therefore I do not own the publishing rights and therefore I cannot repost them.) I found "pappy", "pulpy", and even "doughy". Which word would a native speaker use? (It does not need to be one out of the three given ones.)

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    Do you mean pancake batter? I've never heard of pancake dough, as pancake mix. Is there a distinction I'm unaware of, or is this perhaps regional? Commented May 13, 2013 at 19:38
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    What is it about what you are going to use your word to describe that forbids you to write "the consistency of pancake batter"? Commented May 13, 2013 at 20:21
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    I'd also like to comment that I'd never heard the word "pappy" used in this context until I looked it up just now. I'd suggest you not use that one, as most people are likely to associate it with its other definition (a name children can give to fathers or grandfathers).
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 22:49
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    @ the downvoter: Could you be so kind as to explain what I did wrong and how I could improve my question, please?
    – Stephen
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 20:42
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    @KenB: Now that I know that the word "batter" exists: yes, I mean pancake batter. The translation of "batter" and "dough" into my native language results into the same word ("Teig"). That is also used for cheese before maturing, sausage before filling, and clay before baking. When looking for that word in dictionaries I just found "dough" but not "batter".
    – Stephen
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


It's not at all apparent from the dictionary definitions, but:

  • Dough is relatively firm and can be picked up in the hands, balled up, kneaded, rolled, and otherwise manipulated into various shapes.

  • Batter is much more liquid and needs to be spooned, ladled, or poured out; to achieve a specific shape (other than a large, flat circle), you need a mold or a form to pour the batter into.

Both dough and batter are mixtures of raw ingredients that need to be cooked into some form of a final product (dough into cookies, bread, pie crusts, etc; batter into pancakes, cake, waffles, etc.)

If you want to describe something that has the same consistency as pancake batter, calling it "batter" will get the idea across pretty well.

  • I choose "batter": +1 and accepted, thanks!
    – Stephen
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 20:32
  • You should note that while batter is a good word to replace dough, batter does not describe consistency. It may imply consistency to a certain extent, but you couldn't use "batter" (or even "battery", "batterish", or any other adjectivised form of batter) to describe the consistency of something else. Your original question is much better answered by @jwpat7's answer, "soupy". Batter has a soupy consistency. Commented May 15, 2013 at 12:48

Soupy (“resembling soup; creamy”) is a possibility. (Note, wiktionary's definition of creamy is “Of food or drink, having the rich taste or thick, smooth texture of cream, whether or not it actually contains cream. ”.)

Besides soupy, consider viscid, an adjective meaning glutinous or sticky, with synonyms including viscous, sticky, gummy, glutinous, gluey, adhesive. Also consider gloppy (“soft and soggy; mushy”).

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    I was looking for something between "viscous" and "soupy", but thanks and +1 for the selection.
    – Stephen
    Commented May 14, 2013 at 20:31

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