Easily Confused Words (at a Restaurant): Gyro and Hero

Gyro and Hero are easily confused words.

Gyro is a noun. In the restaurant world, it’s Greek and it’s pronounced more like “yee-roh” instead of “gee-roh” or “jee-roh.” A gyro is a sandwich served on a pita or flatbread. It contains a beef and lamb blend that cooked on a rotating spit. It’s garnished with lettuce, onion, tomato, and a sauce called tzatziki sauce. Tzatziki sauce is yogurt base sauce containing cucumber and fresh green herbs.

In military and scientific circles, Gyro is short for gyroscope (J-eye-rohscope).

Hero is a noun. It means someone who displays courage and self-sacrifice to comes to the rescue of others. Heroes save lives, save reputations, and maybe a little of both.

In the restaurant world, a hero is a meat and vegetable sandwich known for being 6 inches to multiple feet long. Imagine a long stick of soft bread sliced laterally, then stacked with several deli meats, vegetables, condiments and dressings. Other names for this sandwich other than hero include submarine, sub, and grinder.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Gustaf had asked for a simple gyro, but in the noise, his server heard “hero.” And here it was, a heaping sandwich that almost took up the entire table. He was going to need a to-go box. 

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